Excavation Mechanism for a Planetary Underground Explorer Robot

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: 7Language: englishTyp: PDF

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Omori, Hayato; Nakamura, Taro; Yada, Takayuki; Murakami, Taro; Nagai, Hiroaki (Chuo University, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Department of Precision Mechanics, 1-13-27 Kasuga, Bunkyou-ku, Tokyo 112-8551, Japan)
Kubota, Takashi (Institute of Space and Astronautical, Science (ISAS), Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Sagamihara-shi 229-8510, Japan)

In recent decades, several planetary investigations have been carried out, primarily from above. However, much poorly explored terrain remains, especially underground. This therefore constitutes an area where progress can be made for science. To take advantage of this opportunity, we have developed a small, underground explorer. We have focused on the peristaltic crawling of an actual earthworm as the propulsion mechanism for this explorer. In this paper, we explain the concept of our underground explorer robot using peristaltic crawling as a propulsion mechanism and an earth auger as the excavation tool. We have also developed 4 types of earth augers with differences in their tip types and number of spirals and have carried out several excavation experiments. In those experiments, excavation velocities and motor torques were evaluated against motor rotation speeds. Finally, we have introduced a different diameter earth auger between the excavation mechanism and the transport mechanism.