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Dynamic rolling locomotion and control of modular robots

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2 Author(s)
Woo Ho Lee ; Center for Autom. Technol., Rensselaer Polytech. Inst., Troy, NY, USA ; A. C. Sanderson

Highly redundant modular robots may undergo large shape changes which significantly affect the geometry and dynamics of the robot. In these motions, the shape change may induce a tipping or rolling behavior of the robot. The paper describes the dynamic modeling, locomotion planning, control and simulation of such rolling motions for the Tetrobot modular robots. The motion is described by the path profiles of controlled nodes, the tipping criteria and dynamic tipping motion and an impact-reaction model of contact with the ground. These phases of motion are described using Newton-Euler dynamic equations and the principle of conservation of angular momentum. In the paper, a two-phase planning and switching control sequence is introduced to achieve stable and reliable motion of a Tetrobot modular robot. Simulation results illustrate the tipping behavior of a tetrahedron, the dynamic contact and rolling of an icosahedral Tetrobot and dynamic control of the rolling Tetrobot. The resulting models are useful to analyze and control both intentional rolling as a new mode of mobility as well as the avoidance of unintentional tipping and rolling during task execution

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation  (Volume:18 ,  Issue: 1 )