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A modular crawler-driven robot: Mechanical design and preliminary experiments

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2 Author(s)
Qiquan Quan ; Dept. of Robot., Ritsumeikan Univ., Japan ; Shugen Ma

This paper presents a tracked robot composed of the proposed crawler mechanism, in which a planetary gear reducer is employed as the transmission device and provides two outputs in different forms with only one actuator. When the crawler moves in a rough environment, collision between mechanism and environment inevitably occurs. This under-actuated crawler can absorb the impact energy that should be transmitted to the actuator. A modular concept for the crawler is proposed for enlarging its use in robot systems and mechanical design of a modular crawler is conducted. Using this crawler module, a four-crawler-driven robot is realized by easily assembling. Experiments are conducted to verify the proposed concept and mechanical design. A single crawler module can well perform the proposed three locomotion modes. The four-crawler-driven robot has good adaptability to the environment which can get over obstacles both passively and actively.

Published in:

Intelligent Robots and Systems, 2009. IROS 2009. IEEE/RSJ International Conference on

Date of Conference:

10-15 Oct. 2009