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Immobilization based control of spider-like robots in tunnel environments

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3 Author(s)
Shapiro, A. ; Dept. of Mech. Eng., Technion-Israel Inst. of Technol., Haifa, Israel ; Rimon, E. ; Shoval, S.

Presents an immobilization based control method for spider-like robots that move quasistatically in tunnel environments. The control method is based on an immobilization theory which ensures that when a spider-like mechanism is bracing against the environment at an immobile posture, the naturally occurring compliance at the contacts stabilizes the mechanism as a single body. Based on this result, we present two versions of a position control law for general k-limbed spider robots. We show that if the controller's stiffness (i.e. proportional gain) is above a lower limit determined by the spider and environment parameters, stability of the closed-loop spider system is guaranteed. We present dynamic simulations of a spider robot moving in a tunnel under the influence of the immobilization-based control law. The simulations show excellent convergence properties of the control algorithm. A four-legged spider prototype has been built, and we conclude with a description of initial experiments with this robot.

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Robotics and Automation, 2001. Proceedings 2001 ICRA. IEEE International Conference on  (Volume:4 )

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