Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Stephen S. Nestinger, Advisor

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Cagdas Onal, Committee Member

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Gregory S. Fischer, Committee Member

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Simon W. Evans, Committee Member

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Taskin Padir, Committee Member

Identifier

etd-042413-205514

Abstract

Many environments are inaccessible or hazardous for humans. Remaining debris after earthquake and fire, ship hulls, bridge installations, and oil rigs are some examples. For these environments, major effort is being placed into replacing humans with robots for manipulation purposes such as search and rescue, inspection, repair, and maintenance. Mobility, manipulability, and stability are the basic needs for a robot to traverse, maneuver, and manipulate in such irregular and highly obstructed terrain. Hexapod walking robots are as a salient solution because of their extra degrees of mobility, compared to mobile wheeled robots. However, it is essential for any multi-legged walking robot to maintain its stability over the terrain or under external stimuli. For manipulation purposes, the robot must also have a sufficient workspace to satisfy the required manipulability. Therefore, analysis of both workspace and stability becomes very important. An accurate and concise inverse kinematic solution for multi-legged robots is developed and validated. The closed-form solution of lateral and spatial reachable workspace of axially symmetric hexapod walking robots are derived and validated through simulation which aid in the design and optimization of the robot parameters and workspace. To control the stability of the robot, a novel stability margin based on the normal contact forces of the robot is developed and then modified to account for the geometrical and physical attributes of the robot. The margin and its modified version are validated by comparison with a widely known stability criterion through simulated and physical experiments. A control scheme is developed to integrate the workspace and stability of multi-legged walking robots resulting in a bio-inspired reactive control strategy which is validated experimentally.

Publisher

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name

PhD

Department

Mechanical Engineering

Project Type

Dissertation

Date Accepted

2013-04-24

Accessibility

Unrestricted

Subjects

Hexapod Walking Robot, Stability Margin, Workspace

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