Improved mobility through abstracted biological principles

  • Quinn R
  • Offi J
  • Kingsley D
 et al. 
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Biological inspiration can be used to improve the mobility of vehicles, even those that are simplified and use current technology. One such hexapod robot called Whegs I is described. Mechanisms in its design permit it to move over various terrains and climb over small obstacles in a manner similar to a cockroach. It uses one motor for propulsion and two small servos for steering. Its appendages, called whegs, consist of three evenly spaced spokes. Passive compliance in its axles permits its nominal tripod gait to adapt to irregular terrain and evolve to co-activation for climbing. Basic locomotion control is implemented in its, mechanical design. A benefit of this mechanical simplicity is that its control system is also simplified. Drawbacks to the simplifications include the inability to change the body's posture and decrease overhead clearance. Some of these problems will be addressed in future versions without compromising the basic design.

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  • R.D. Quinn

  • J.T. Offi

  • D.a. Kingsley

  • R.E. Ritzmann

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