Faculty Advisor

Stephen S. Nestinger

Abstract

"The maintenance and inspection of societal structures and equipment such as skyscrapers, bridges, and ship hulls are important to maintaining a safe lifestyle. Improper maintanance and delayed inspection can lead to catastrophic failure. In lieu of placing humans in potential harm, mobile robotic machining systems can be used to enable remote repair and maintenance within constrictive, hazardous, and inaccessible environments. Due to their intrinsic high mobility and 6-DOF control, hexapod walking robots are a salient solution to mobile machining. However, the static structure of traditional hexapod robots can be rather limiting when attempting to traverse over irregular terrain or manipulating objects. This research realizes a new scalable hexapod robot and analyzes the lateral stable workspace of the robot under different external loading conditions. The scalable design allows the robot to extend its legs which enhances the workspace and improves stability while manuevering through constrictive and irregular terrain. The design incorporates two additional prismatic joints into the legs of the traditional hexapod robot design providing a compact, rigid, and efficient design. The electronic printed circuit boards were designed and assembled in-house. A distributed control architecture was implemented to off-load low-level leg control to dedicated leg controllers. An analysis on the lateral stable workspace of the scalable hexapod robot under different external loading conditions is presented. A dynamic stable workspace criterion is derived. The stable workspace criterion provides a metric for comparing stable workspaces between hexapod robots with different configurations. Multiple simulations and physical experiments were conducted to demonstrate the advantages of a scalability in hexapod designs."

Publisher

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name

MS

Department

Mechanical Engineering

Project Type

Thesis

Date Accepted

2013-09-12

Accessibility

Unrestricted

Subjects

stable workspace, scalable, hexpod, workspace, stability

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