Development of Spherical-Trailer-Type Cable Reel Mechanism

M. Arai and S. Hirose (Japan)


Rescue-robot, spherical trailer, cable reel mechanism, cable oscillating movement, spatial cam


Cabled communication is considered to be more useful than wireless communication for rescue robots used in post-disaster environments. The cable can not only provide good signal communication but also contribute to assist to retrieve the robot. However, at the same time, the cable could hinder the mobility of the robot. Additionally, robots for inspection usually lack in payload capacity and have no space for reel mechanisms, because they are generally small. Therefore, we proposed and developed a spherical-trailer-type cable reel mechanism, which is composed of a spherical trailer and a cable reel mechanism with a device to oscillate the cable to the reel. The spherical trailer is surrounded by a pair of hemispherical wheels which would be hard to be caught in the rubble. The cable provides good signal communication in post-disaster environments, and the oscillating movement device enables to utilize the reel space effectively. This paper describes the spherical trailer, the cable reel mechanism with the oscillating movement device, their mechanisms, and the experiments to test their performances.

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