The rope-climbing robot that can cling to a rope for locomotion has been a popular piece of equipment for some overhead applications due to its high flexibility. In view of problems left by existing rope-climbing robots, this paper aims to propose a new-style rope-climbing robot named Finger-wheeled mechanism robot (FWMR)-II to improve their performance.
FWMR-II adopts a modular and link-type mechanical structure. With the finger-wheeled mechanism (FWM) module, the robot can achieve smooth and quick locomotion and good capability of obstacle-crossing on the rope and with the link module based on a spatial parallel mechanism, the robot adaptability for rope environments is improved further. The kinematic models that can present configurations of the FWM module and link module of the robot are established and for typical states of the obstacle-crossing process, the geometric definitions and constraints that can present the robot position relative to the rope are established. The simulation is performed with the optimization calculating method to obtain the robot adaptability for rope environments and the experiment is also conducted with the developed prototype to verify the robot performance.
From the simulation results, the adaptability for rope environments of FWMR-II are obtained and the advantage of FWMR-II compared with FWMR-I is also proved. The experiment results give a further verification for the robot design and analysis work.
The robot proposed in this study can be used for inspection of power transmission lines, inspection and delivery in mine and some other overhead applications.
An ingenious modular link-type robot is proposed to improve existing rope-climbing robots and the method established in this study is worthy of reference for obstacle-crossing analysis of other rope-climbing robots.
This work is supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 52005348).The authors wish to thank Jingpeng Li and Yunfei Zang who are master candidates in the authors’ laboratory for their contributions to the experiment work involved in this paper.
Yu, S., Ye, C., Tao, G., Ding, J. and Wang, Y. (2021), "FWMR-II: a modular link-type rope-climbing robot with the finger-wheeled mechanism", Industrial Robot, Vol. 48 No. 4, pp. 602-613. https://doi.org/10.1108/IR-02-2021-0026
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