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Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(2), 156; doi:10.3390/app8020156

Hybrid Locomotion Evaluation for a Novel Amphibious Spherical Robot

1
Key Laboratory of Convergence Medical Engineering System and Healthcare Technology, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, School of Life Science, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing 100081, China
2
Faculty of Engineering, Kagawa University, 2217-20 Hayashicho, Takamatsu, Kagawa 761-0396, Japan
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 November 2017 / Revised: 5 January 2018 / Accepted: 10 January 2018 / Published: 24 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bio-Inspired Robotics)

Abstract

We describe the novel, multiply gaited, vectored water-jet, hybrid locomotion-capable, amphibious spherical robot III (termed ASR-III) featuring a wheel-legged, water-jet composite driving system incorporating a lifting and supporting wheel mechanism (LSWM) and mechanical legs with a water-jet thruster. The LSWM allows the ASR-III to support the body and slide flexibly on smooth (flat) terrain. The composite driving system facilitates two on-land locomotion modes (sliding and walking) and underwater locomotion mode with vectored thrusters, improving adaptability to the amphibious environment. Sliding locomotion improves the stability and maneuverability of ASR-III on smooth flat terrain, whereas walking locomotion allows ASR-III to conquer rough terrain. We used both forward and reverse kinematic models to evaluate the walking and sliding gait efficiency. The robot can also realize underwater locomotion with four vectored water-jet thrusters, and is capable of forward motion, heading angle control and depth control. We evaluated LSWM efficiency and the sliding velocities associated with varying extensions of the LSWM. To explore gait stability and mobility, we performed on-land experiments on smooth flat terrain to define the optimal stride length and frequency. We also evaluated the efficacy of waypoint tracking when the sliding gait was employed, using a closed-loop proportional-integral-derivative (PID) control mechanism. Moreover, experiments of forward locomotion, heading angle control and depth control were conducted to verify the underwater performance of ASR-III. Comparison of the previous robot and ASR-III demonstrated the ASR-III had better amphibious motion performance. View Full-Text
Keywords: the amphibious spherical robot; the lifting and supporting wheel mechanism; sliding locomotion; wheel-legged robot; waypoints tracking; hybrid locomotion the amphibious spherical robot; the lifting and supporting wheel mechanism; sliding locomotion; wheel-legged robot; waypoints tracking; hybrid locomotion
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Xing, H.; Guo, S.; Shi, L.; He, Y.; Su, S.; Chen, Z.; Hou, X. Hybrid Locomotion Evaluation for a Novel Amphibious Spherical Robot. Appl. Sci. 2018, 8, 156.

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