Towards an Intelligent Foot for Walking and Climbing Robots

Conference: ISR/ROBOTIK 2010 - ISR 2010 (41st International Symposium on Robotics) and ROBOTIK 2010 (6th German Conference on Robotics)
06/07/2010 - 06/09/2010 at Munich, Germany

Proceedings: ISR/ROBOTIK 2010

Pages: 8Language: englishTyp: PDF

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Cordes, Florian; Bartsch, Sebastian; Birnschein, Timo; Kühn, Daniel; Kirchner, Frank (DFKI GmbH - Robotics Innovation Center, Robert-Hooke-Str. 5, 28359 Bremen, Germany)

Technical locomotion has up to now been dominated by wheeled or later on chain-drive approaches. These locomotion principles may be implemented in a straight-forward fashion and are a robust way to move. However, wheels quite soon reach their limit in negotiating rough ground and even chain-drives cannot cope with all kinds of terrain. At least when it comes to climbing vertical surfaces, for example canyons on Mars or the interior of volcanic and lunar craters, wheels and tracks are no option for locomotion. The SpaceClimber project1 aims at a six-legged climbing robot for steep and rough terrain. The robot is meant to be used for planetary exploration missions such as lunar crater exploration and sample return missions. To enable safe and efficient locomotion in various terrains, an "intelligent foot" is developed for the SpaceClimber robot. This foot and the steps of development towards this foot are presented in this paper.