AI News, Terradynamics Lab

Terradynamics Lab

For example, in our previous study of terradynamic streamlining, cockroaches and small legged robots can become unstable as their body rolls to traverse cluttered grass-like beam obstacles (Fig.

Inspired by the amazing locomotor abilities and multi-functionality of small animals like cockroaches, we developed a new mechanism for small legged robots to dynamically self-right from an upside-down orientation by opening wings.

Like the cockroach, our self-righting robot can self-right dynamically by opening its wings to push against the ground, using kinetic energy to overcome potential energy barriers.

In ongoing research, we are integrating the winged self-righting mechanism with the rounded shell design to enable the robot to traverse cluttered obstacles and self-right when flipped over.

If the robot opens its wings by a large wing pitch angle and/or opens its wings rapidly, it successfully self-rights: However, if the robot opens its wings to a small wing pitch angle and/or opens wings slowly, it fails to self-right: Testing Biological Hypothesis of Asymmetric Wing Opening In our animal study, we observed that when cockroaches self-right, they often open their wings asymmetrically, with one wing opening more than the other (Fig.

By systematically varying left and right wing opening magnitudes, we discovered that, at low wing opening magnitudes, asymmetric wing opening actually increases the probability of successful self-righting (Fig.

Terradynamics Lab

For example, in our previous study of terradynamic streamlining, cockroaches and small legged robots can become unstable as their body rolls to traverse cluttered grass-like beam obstacles (Fig.

Inspired by the amazing locomotor abilities and multi-functionality of small animals like cockroaches, we developed a new mechanism for small legged robots to dynamically self-right from an upside-down orientation by opening wings.

Like the cockroach, our self-righting robot can self-right dynamically by opening its wings to push against the ground, using kinetic energy to overcome potential energy barriers.

In ongoing research, we are integrating the winged self-righting mechanism with the rounded shell design to enable the robot to traverse cluttered obstacles and self-right when flipped over.

If the robot opens its wings by a large wing pitch angle and/or opens its wings rapidly, it successfully self-rights: However, if the robot opens its wings to a small wing pitch angle and/or opens wings slowly, it fails to self-right: Testing Biological Hypothesis of Asymmetric Wing Opening In our animal study, we observed that when cockroaches self-right, they often open their wings asymmetrically, with one wing opening more than the other (Fig.

By systematically varying left and right wing opening magnitudes, we discovered that, at low wing opening magnitudes, asymmetric wing opening actually increases the probability of successful self-righting (Fig.

Li Presents Highlight Paper at IROS 2016 FEBRUARY 8, 2017 submit Chen Li, assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and principal investigator of the Terradynamics Lab, presented recent work at the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) in Daejeon, Korea, from October 9 to 14, 2016.

The paper, entitled “Cockroach-inspired winged robot reveals principles of ground-based dynamic self-righting,” was selected as one of only 20 exceptional papers highlighted at the conference from more than 800 presentations.

In that study, Li’s team found that while cockroaches could move very quickly through this environment by rolling their bodies sideways through the gaps, even the best small-legged robots got stuck when they encountered an obstacle, since they could only turn left or right on a horizontal plane.

The team used this model as a tool to further study the physics principles related to self-righting and how much the self-righting process depends on variation in the parameters of speed and magnitude of the wing opening.

The researchers systematically varied the opening magnitude and opening speed to measure the probability of the success rate, and found that as magnitude and speed increased, performance became better.

They discovered there were two basic regimes of self-righting depending on wing shape and wing height: either “quasi-static,” in which the center of gravity moved out of the ground-contact region and the insect fell over to right itself, or it was “dynamic,” in which the insect’s wings pushed against the ground with enough force that it had sufficient kinetic energy to flip over.

The team then used the robot to test their biological hypothesis of asymmetrical righting, in which the animal opens one wing slightly more than the other and both pitches and rolls its body to self-right, rather than with a symmetrical full pitch.

Li’s research showed that robots can benefit greatly from using physics principles discovered by studying how an animal’s body and appendages are mechanically tuned to solve locomotor problems.

Cockroach-inspired winged robot reveals principles of ground-based dynamic self-righting

Inspired by the discoid cockroach that opens its wings to push against the ground to self-right, we designed actuated wings for robot self-righting based on recently-developed rounded shells for obstacle traversal [1].

Our study provided a proof-of-concept that robots can take advantage of an existing body structure (rounded shell) in novel ways (as actuated wings) to serve new locomotor functions, analogous to biological exaptations [2].

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