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Development of an omni‐directional mobile robot using traveling waves based on snail locomotion

Taro Nakamura (Department of Precision Mechanics, Chuo University, Tokyo, Japan)
Kuniaki Satoh (Department of Precision Mechanics, Chuo University, Tokyo, Japan)

Industrial Robot

ISSN: 0143-991x

Article publication date: 2 May 2008

Abstract

Purpose

The snail moves by propagating traveling waves from tail to head. If it is possible to propagate a traveling wave in many directions, an omni‐directional mobile robot could be realized. The purpose of this paper is to develop an omni‐directional mobile robot using the locomotion mechanism of the snail and to study the basic properties of the robot.

Design/methodology/approach

A unit for mobile robot was developed to generate the traveling wave based on the snail. The omni‐directional mobile robot is composed of eight units arranged in a circular shape and each abutting unit is connected by a spring. The robot generates a traveling wave by elongation and contraction of the units and realizes an omni‐directional locomotion.

Findings

It was confirmed that the robot moves using the traveling wave locomotion. Furthermore, the locomotion experiment confirmed that the robot moved in the expected direction with reasonable accuracy.

Originality/value

This paper proposes a new omni‐directional mobile mechanism using traveling wave based on a snail locomotion. Since the locomotion mechanism of the snail involves moving a larger area than is the case with other creatures, it is able to move not only on irregular ground such as swamps, but also on walls and ceilings. Hence, it is thought that this robot could be applied to the inspection of walls.

Keywords

Citation

Nakamura, T. and Satoh, K. (2008), "Development of an omni‐directional mobile robot using traveling waves based on snail locomotion", Industrial Robot, Vol. 35 No. 3, pp. 206-210. https://doi.org/10.1108/01439910810868516

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited