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Most traditional home robots have always had problems with stairs, doorsills and other obstacles that humans cross with ease in cluttered indoor environments. This paper presents the development and characterization of a surveillance robot with hopping capabilities for home security. The proposed robot, which is 9 cm in height and 250 g in weight, can leap over obstacles more than 4 times its own size. It depends on the elastic elements in a six-bar linkage leg system to enable hopping locomotion. It can also roll freely on flat floors and change its directions by the two-wheeled differential drive system. It adopts the ZigBee protocol for wireless communication and therefore can be added to a ZigBee-based home control network as a mobile video sensor node. Experimental results verify that the prototype robot is a powerful home security device that can patrol in cluttered home environments with ease.
Date of Publication: November 2009