IMPROVING THE FUNCTIONALITY AND PERFORMANCE OF M-TRAN ROBOTS BY CONSTRUCTIONAL FLEXIBILITY

Serhat Ikizolu, Gkhan Ozer, and Omer C. Sarıgo

Keywords

Modular robot, M-TRAN, locomotion, reconfiguration

Abstract

A significant amount of researches in robotics is concentrated on improvement of robots from various aspects. One of various approaches conferred to robotics is the modular robotics. Basically, modular robotics aims to create a robot composed of several modules to serve a particular purpose. The modules are identical units combining close physical and functional qualities. This study concentrates on designing a modular robot that is based on the functional improvement of a module called M-TRAN in the literature. In this context, a rectangular-shaped wheel is implemented to improve the mobility compatible with the fundamental structure. Another constructional novelty is brought by a connecting mechanism that replaces the so-called hook in M-TRAN. This mechanism aims to reduce both the required motor power and the risk of damage of the mechanical parts. We also introduce a new way to transfer energy between modules, which renders the need for battery in each module unnecessary. Though the starting idea of the study has been a robotic system for pipe inspection, a considerable step is taken to build up a structure suitable for mine detection, medical operations, etc.

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