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Design and locomotion analysis of the tetrahedral mobile robot with only revolute joints (TMRR)

Zhirui Wang (Unmanned Ground Vehicle Research and Development Center, China North Vehicle Research Institute, Beijing, China)
Yezhuo Li (School of Mechanical and Electronic Control Engineering, Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing, China)
Bo Su (Unmanned Ground Vehicle Research and Development Center, China North Vehicle Research Institute, Beijing, China)
Lei Jiang (Unmanned Ground Vehicle Research and Development Center, China North Vehicle Research Institute, Beijing, China)
Ziming Zhao (School of Mechanical and Electronic Control Engineering, Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing, China)
Yan-An Yao (School of Mechanical and Electronic Control Engineering, Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing, China)

Industrial Robot

ISSN: 0143-991x

Article publication date: 18 May 2021

Issue publication date: 19 August 2021

130

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to introduce a tetrahedral mobile robot with only revolute joints (TMRR). By using rotation actuators, the mechanism of the robot gains favorable working space and eliminates the engineering difficulties caused by the multilevel extension compared with liner actuators. Furthermore, the rolling locomotion is improved to reduce displacement error based on dynamics analysis.

Design/methodology/approach

The main body of deforming mechanism with a tetrahedral exterior shape is composed of four vertexes and six RRR chains. The mobile robot can achieve the rolling locomotion and reach any position on the ground by orderly driving the rotation actuators. The global kinematics of the mobile modes are analyzed. Dynamics analysis of the robot falling process is carried out during the rolling locomotion, and the rolling locomotion is improved by reducing the collision impulse along with the moving direction.

Findings

Based on global kinematics analysis of TMRR, the robot can realize the continuous mobility based on rolling gait planning. The main cause of robot displacement error and the corresponding improvement locomotion are gained through dynamic analysis. The results of the theoretical analysis are verified by experiments on a physical prototype.

Originality/value

The work introduced in this paper is a novel exploration of applying the mechanism with only revolute joints to the field of tetrahedral rolling robots. It is also an attempt to use the improved rolling locomotion making this kind of mobile robot more practical. Meanwhile, the reasonable engineering structure of the robot provides feasibility for load carrying.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 91748211) .

Citation

Wang, Z., Li, Y., Su, B., Jiang, L., Zhao, Z. and Yao, Y.-A. (2021), "Design and locomotion analysis of the tetrahedral mobile robot with only revolute joints (TMRR)", Industrial Robot, Vol. 48 No. 4, pp. 614-625. https://doi.org/10.1108/IR-10-2020-0216

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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