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On a Bio-inspired Amphibious Robot Capable of Multimodal Motion

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6 Author(s)
Junzhi Yu ; State Key Laboratory of Management and Control for Complex Systems, Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China ; Ding, R. ; Yang, Q. ; Min Tan
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This paper addresses the system design and locomotion control for a versatile amphibious robot, AmphiRobot-II, inspired by various amphibian principles in the animal kingdom. In terms of the propulsion features of existing amphibians, a novel hybrid propulsive mechanism coupled with wheel-propeller-fin movements is proposed that integrates fish- or dolphin-like swimming and wheel-based crawling. The robot is able not only to implement flexible wheel-based movements on land, but also to perform steady and efficient fish- or dolphin-like swimming under water and can further switch between these two patterns via a specialized swivel device. To achieve multimodal motions, a body deformation steering approach is proposed for the turning locomotion on land with minimum turning radius obtained accordingly. A central pattern generator inspired underwater locomotion control is also implemented and tested on the physical robot. Based on the aforementioned design, the AmphiRobot-II prototype has been built and has successfully demonstrated to confirm the effectiveness of the hybrid propulsive scheme and the amphibious control approaches.

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Mechatronics, IEEE/ASME Transactions on  (Volume:17 ,  Issue: 5 )