SIMULATIONS AND EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH ON A NOVEL SOFT-TERRAIN HEXAPOD ROBOT

Cong Ma, Fan Yu, and Zhe Luo

Keywords

Softterrain moving machine, aircushion boots, Mooney–Rivlin model, orthogonal analysis, dynamics simulation

Abstract

To improve the trafficability of a vehicle operating on uneven soft-terrain surfaces, a novel crawling hexapod robot combined with the advantages of both air-cushion and walking mechanism is creatively proposed, with better adaptability than common soft-terrain machines under some complex conditions. In this paper, the structure and working principle of the robot are described firstly. Then, for the control system design, two key tasks are carried out as follows: (1) A regression dynamics model is established to represent the force–deformation relationship of air-cushion boot by orthogonal designed finite element (FE) simulations using Mooney–Rivlin model and corresponding experimental verification. (2) A dynamics gait simulation model with 21 degrees of freedom (DOFs) is built, which is then examined by a typical tripod gait process simulation for its feasibility investigation. The results of research indicate the effectiveness and feasibility of the proposed novel robot structure thus can provide some useful references for designing similar robots along its control system for some special operation cases.

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