American engineers have developed a robot that can adapt itself to different conditions. On level terrain it uses for movement six wheels, but if before him there were obstacles or rough terrain, he is using the manipulator pulls out of the cargo compartment of the legs and attach them to the wheels to increase traction. Development was presented at the conference ICRA 2020, article published on the website of the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Among terrestrial mobile robots there are two large groups that have advantages in certain conditions. On smooth surfaces are better suited wheeled robots with high energy efficiency movement and rough terrain with strong roughness and differences in elevation are best suited walking robots that can put feet at different heights, and over the pit. With rare exceptions, the robots are equipped with a propulsion mechanism of one of two types and are unable to operate effectively in all conditions.
Engineers under the direction of Anirban Mazumdar (Mazumdar Anirban) from Georgia Institute of Technology have created a wheeled robot that can, if necessary, to independently Supplement the wheel legs He has flat shape and six wheels, but only the front and rear wheels come with tires and are responsible for the drive, and the middle axis is designed specifically for the feet movement.
In the back of the robot includes a manipulator, allowing him to consolidate his feet on wheels. On the end of the arm there is a gripper, and in the middle of the robot body has a recess in which stacked six feet. They can be in the form of a semicircular arc or blades. Wheel disks made of cutouts and holes for feet, and the steel surface. The manipulator inserts the base of the feet in the recess and a permanent magnet fixes it in this position.
Due to the magnetic and mechanical locking legs out of the recesses when driving, but the manipulator can remove them if necessary. To do this, he first pulls the foot down, pushing her out of the grooves, and then tilts sideways and thereby separates the magnet from the steel disk.