Miniature robotic vehicles

Industrial Robot

ISSN: 0143-991x

Article publication date: 1 October 2004




Rigelsford, J. (2004), "Miniature robotic vehicles", Industrial Robot, Vol. 31 No. 5.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Miniature robotic vehicles

Miniature robotic vehicles

Keywords: Robotics, Vehicle, Patents

Applicant: The University of Minnesota, USAPatent number: US6,548,982Publication date: 15 April 2003Title: Miniature Robotic Vehicles and Methods of Controlling Same

This patent presents a miniature robotic vehicle that is able to traverse various terrains and is suitable for reconnaissance and surveillance operations. It also presents a method and system for operating and controlling such vehicles.

In one embodiment, the vehicle includes a cylindrical body, having two or more drive wheels, coupled to the ends thereof, whereby the wheels are selectively powered to propel the vehicle. The vehicle may further include a spring member which may be deflected to a first, stored position from a second, extended position, and which may be quickly released from the first, stored position such that it strikes the terrain with sufficient force to lift and propel the vehicle over or onto a proximate obstacle or object. Robotic vehicles of the present invention may also include one or more sensing devices operable to collect information. The robot may be autonomous, semi-autonomous, and/or remote control and may form part of a multi-robot surveillance team. Such a robotic vehicle is capable of rapid and covert deployment into almost any environment.

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