The aim of this paper is to introduce a hexapod walking robot specifically designed for applications in humanitarian demining, intended to operate autonomously for several hours. To this end, the paper presents an experimental study for the evaluation of its energy efficiency.
First, the interest of using a walking robot for detection and localization of anti-personnel landmines is described, followed by the description of the mechanical system and the control architecture of the hexapod robot. Second, the energy efficiency of the hexapod robot is assessed to demonstrate its autonomy for performing humanitarian demining tasks. To achieve this, the power consumed by the robot is measured and logged, with a number of different payloads placed on-board (always including the scanning manipulator arm assembled on the robot front end), during the execution of a discontinuous gait on flat terrain.
The hexapod walking robot has demonstrated low energy consumption when it is carrying out several locomotion cycles with different loads on it, which is fundamental to have a desired autonomy. It should be considered that the robot has a mass of about 250 kg and that it has been loaded with additional masses of up to 170 kg during the experiments, with a consumption of mean power of 72 W, approximately.
This work provides insight on the use of a walking robot for humanitarian demining tasks, which has high stability and an autonomy of about 3 hours for a robot with high mass and high payload. In addition, the robot can be supervised and controlled remotely, which is an added value when it is working in the field.
The authors acknowledge funding of this work under the TIRAMISU Project – Grant Agreement No. 284747 of the 7FP, partial funding from the RoboCity2030-III-CM project (Robótica aplicada a la mejora de la calidad de vida de los ciudadanos. Fase III; S2013/MIT-2748), funded by Programas de Actividades I+D en la Comunidad de Madrid and co-funded by Structural Funds of the EU and partial funding from the CSIC project Robotica y Sensores para los Retos Sociales (ROBSEN) (PIE 20165E050). Dr Héctor Montes also acknowledges support from Universidad Tecnológica de Panamá. Dr Roemi Fernández acknowledges the financial support from Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness under the Ramón y Cajal Programme.
Montes, H., Mena, L., Fernández, R. and Armada, M. (2017), "Energy-efficiency hexapod walking robot for humanitarian demining", Industrial Robot, Vol. 44 No. 4, pp. 457-466. https://doi.org/10.1108/IR-11-2016-0281
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