Locomotion Capabilities of a Modular Robot with Eight Pitch-Yaw-Connecting Modules
Juan Gonzalez-Gomez , Houxiang Zhang , Eduardo Boemo and Jianwei Zhang
In this paper, a general classification of the modular robots is proposed, based on their topology and the type of connection between the modules. The locomotion capabilities of the sub-group of pitch-yaw connecting robots are analyzed. Five different gaits have been implemented and tested on a real robot composed of eight modules. One of them, rotating, has not been previously achieved. All gaits are implemented using a simple and elegant central pattern generator (CPG) approach that simplify the algorithms of the controlling system.
Conclusion and future work
A classification for the modular robots has been proposed based on the topology and the type of connection between the modules. Pitch-yaw connecting robots are a sub-group of snake robots in which the modules rotate around the pitch and yaw axes. The locomotion capabilities of an eight pitch-yaw connecting robot has been implemented and studied on a real robot. Five different gaits have been achieved: 1D sinusoidal, turning, lateral shift, rotating and rolling. All of them have been implemented using a sinusoidal CPG approach. We have realized all gaits mentioned above and concluded the relationship of the different phases and the locomotion capabilities. The information is summarized in Fig. 20.
The successful experiments confirm the principles of CPGs and the locomotion capabilities of pitch-yawconnecting modular robots. All the gaits can be described by means of seven parameters: amplitude for the vertical and horizontal joints (AV ,AH), the offset (OV , OH), the phase difference between two adjacent vertical and horizontal joints (△ΦV , △ΦH) and the phase difference between horizontal and vertical modules (△ΦHV ).
The lateral shift, rotating and rolling gaits only differ in terms of their phase difference. That means that the phase difference is the key parameter determining the characteristics of gaits.
All of the research results can be directly implemented in the self-reconfigurable robot which is our ultimate research object.
Currently, we are studying the climbing properties of the pitch-yaw-connecting configuration and the locomotion capabilities of 2D and 3D configurations. Also, a new generation of modules are being designed.
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