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A Ground Control System for Studying Locomotion on Granular Media

Description

Current robotic systems are limited in their abilities to efficiently traverse granular environments due to an underdeveloped understanding of the physics governing the interactions between solids and deformable substrates. As

Current robotic systems are limited in their abilities to efficiently traverse granular environments due to an underdeveloped understanding of the physics governing the interactions between solids and deformable substrates. As there are many animal species biologically designed for navigation of specific terrains, it is useful to study their mechanical ground interactions, and the kinematics of their movement. To achieve this, an automated, fluidized bed was designed to simulate various terrains under different conditions for animal testing. This document examines the design process of this test setup, with a focus on the controls. Control programs will be tested with hardware to ensure full functionality of the design. Knowledge gained from these studies can be used to optimize morphologies and gait parameters of robots. Ultimately, a robot can be developed that is capable of adapting itself for efficient locomotion on any terrain. These systems will be invaluable for applications such as planet exploration and rescue operations.

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Date Created
  • 2016-05