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MSU Jumper: A Single-Motor-Actuated Miniature Steerable Jumping Robot

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7 Author(s)
Jianguo Zhao ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI, USA ; Jing Xu ; Bingtuan Gao ; Ning Xi
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The ability to jump is found widely among small animals such as frogs, grasshoppers, and fleas. They jump to overcome large obstacles relative to their small sizes. Inspired by the animals' jumping capability, a miniature jumping robot-Michigan State University (MSU) Jumper-has been developed. In this paper, the mechanical design, fabrication, and experimentation of the MSU jumper are presented. The robot can achieve the following three performances simultaneously, which distinguish it from the other existing jumping robots. First, it can perform continuous steerable jumping that is based on the self-righting and the steering capabilities. Second, the robot only requires a single actuator to perform all the functions. Third, the robot has a light weight (23.5 g) to reduce the damage that results from the impact of landing. Experimental results show that, with a 75° take-off angle, the robot can jump up to 87 cm in vertical height and 90 cm in horizontal distance. The robot has a wide range of applications such as sensor/communication networks, search and rescue, surveillance, and environmental monitoring.

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Robotics, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:29 ,  Issue: 3 )