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Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering

Front. Mech. Eng.    2020, Vol. 15 Issue (3) : 365-373
Design and locomotion analysis of two kinds of rolling expandable mobile linkages with a single degree of freedom
Yanlin HAO1, Yaobin TIAN2(), Jianxu WU3, Yezhuo LI1, Yan-An YAO1
1. School of Mechanical, Electronic and Control Engineering, Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing 100044, China
2. School of Mechanical Engineering and Automation, Beihang University, Beijing 100191, China
3. Department of Mechanical Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
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This study presents two kinds of rolling robots that are able to roll by deforming their outer shapes with a single degree of freedom. Each robot is an essential multi-loop planar expandable linkage constructed by a concave outer loop and several inner parallelogram loops. In this study, the mechanical design of the robots is introduced. Dynamic rolling process is further analyzed on the basis of zero moment point method, and a morphing strategy is proposed to guarantee a stable dynamic rolling process. A novel passive rolling locomotion is also developed, which enables the robots to roll and stand on a slope. To verify the design, two prototypes are manufactured, wherein the dynamic and passive rolling locomotion are carried out.

Keywords rolling locomotion      expandable mechanism      mechanism design      zero moment point (ZMP) analysis     
Corresponding Author(s): Yaobin TIAN   
Just Accepted Date: 07 April 2020   Online First Date: 29 April 2020    Issue Date: 03 September 2020
 Cite this article:   
Yanlin HAO,Yaobin TIAN,Jianxu WU, et al. Design and locomotion analysis of two kinds of rolling expandable mobile linkages with a single degree of freedom[J]. Front. Mech. Eng., 2020, 15(3): 365-373.
Fig.1  Mechanism design of the proposed rolling robots: The sketches of (a) six- and (b) eight-angular robots; the corresponding CAD models of (c) six- and (d) eight-angular robots.
Fig.2  Active rolling gait to the right side. (a) The initial state; (b) about to tumble; (c) the tumbling state; (d) after the tumbling motion; and (e) the recovery state.
Fig.3  ZMP analysis of six-angular robot.
Fig.4  ZMP curves of six-angular robot with different (a) angular and (b) acceleration speeds.
Fig.5  ZMP curves of eight-angular robot with different (a) angular and (b) acceleration speeds.
Fig.6  Static stability state of the six-angular robot.
Fig.7  Passive rolling mode. (a) About to deform; (b) about to tumble; and (c) after the tumbling motion.
Fig.8  Prototypes of the six- and eight-angular robots.
Robot Weight/kg Length of each link, l/mm Motor Battery
Six-angular robot 2.5 120 DC 12 V; 60 r/min 12 V; 2.4 A; 3400 mA?h
Eight-angular robot 3.8 120 DC 12 V; 60 r/min 12 V; 2.4 A; 3400 mA?h
Tab.1  Specifications of prototypes
Fig.9  Rolling experiments of the six-angular linkage.
Fig.10  Rolling experiments of the eight-angular linkage.
Fig.11  Passive rolling experiment of the six-angular linkage.
Fig.12  Passive rolling experiment of the eight-angular mechanism.
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