Advertisement

Autonomous Robots

, Volume 43, Issue 1, pp 63–78 | Cite as

Design of a terrain adaptive wheeled robot for human-orientated environments

  • Conor McGinnEmail author
  • Michael F. Cullinan
  • Moyin Otubela
  • Kevin Kelly
Article
  • 329 Downloads

Abstract

Domestic and human-centered environments pose many practical challenges for service robots, especially those that must perform a diverse range of tasks. Existing robot morphologies have typically failed to incorporate the physical practicality and terrain adaptability needed to achieve high behavioral diversity in these spaces, as the most suitable configurations for certain tasks/behaviors are often highly unsuitable for others. This paper presents the development of a novel wheeled robot morphology that has been designed to possess the physical characteristics necessary to exploit human-centered environments, while also attaining the terrain adaptability to perform demanding locomotive tasks such as crevice crossing and step climbing. The design of a demonstrator embodiment is presented and discussed. Through simulation and real-world testing, the effectiveness of the prototype is evaluated. Finally, several design insights and lessons learned are discussed.

Keywords

Wheeled robot Pneumatic artificial muscle Service robot 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Cian Donovan, Adam McCreevey, George Walsh and Mark Culleton for their efforts in developing and testing the robot presented in this work. We would also like to thank Iarnroid Eireann for allowing us to conduct testing on their trains.

Supplementary material

Supplementary material 1 (mp4 4898 KB)

Supplementary material 2 (mp4 5473 KB)

Supplementary material 3 (mp4 4583 KB)

Supplementary material 4 (mp4 20945 KB)

Supplementary material 5 (mp4 27167 KB)

References

  1. Arola, R. A., Miyata, E., Sturos, J. A., & Steinhilb, H. (1981). Felling and bunching small timber on steep slopes. Technical reports on U.S.D.A. Forest Service.Google Scholar
  2. Bicchi, A., & Tonietti, G. (2004). Fast and “soft-arm” tactics: Dependability in human-friendly robots. IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine, 11(2), 22–33.  https://doi.org/10.1109/MRA.2004.1310939.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Boblan, I., & Schulz, A. (2010). A humanoid muscle robot torso with biologically inspired construction. In Robotics (ISR), 2010 41st International Symposium on and 2010 6th German Conference on Robotics (ROBOTIK) (pp. 1–6).Google Scholar
  4. Bohren, J., Rusu, R., Jones, E., Marder-Eppstein, E., Pantofaru, C., Wise, M., Mosenlechner, L., Meeussen, W., & Holzer, S. (2011). Towards autonomous robotic butlers: Lessons learned with the pr2. In IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) (pp. 5568–5575).  https://doi.org/10.1109/ICRA.2011.5980058.
  5. Bongard, J., & Pfeifer, R. (2006). How the body shapes the way we think: A new version of intelligence. Cambridge: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  6. Boston Dynamics (2017). Handle. https://www.bostondynamics.com/handle.
  7. Brooks, R. A. (1991). Intelligence without reason. In Proceedings of the 12th international joint conference on artificial intelligence - volume 1, IJCAI’91 (pp. 569–595). San Francisco, CA: Morgan Kaufmann Publishers Inc. http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1631171.1631258.
  8. Brown Engineering Co. (1972). A design guide for home safety. Technical reports, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. http://books.google.ie/books?id=zofRnQEACAAJ.
  9. Chou, C. P., & Hannaford, B. (1996). Measurement and modelling of McKibben pneumatic artificial muscles. IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation, 12(1), 90–102.  https://doi.org/10.1109/70.481753.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cohen, H. H., & Abele, J. R. (2008). Chapter 10: Fall injury information (p. 112). http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK2653/.
  11. Connette, C. P., Parlitz, C., Graf, B., Hägele, M., & Verl, A. (2008). The mobility concept of Care-O-bot 3. In Proceedings of the 39th ISR (International Symposium on Robotics) (Vol. 15).Google Scholar
  12. Cullinan, M. F., Bourke, E., Kelly, K., & McGinn, C. (2017). A McKibben type sleeve pneumatic muscle and integrated mechanism for improved stroke length. Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics, 9(1), 011,013.  https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4035496.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Dallali, H., Mosadeghzad, M., Medrano-Cerda, G., Loc, V. G., Tsagarakis, N., & Caldwell, D., et al. (2013). Designing a high performance humanoid robot based on dynamic simulation. In European Modelling Symposium (pp. 359–364).  https://doi.org/10.1109/EMS.2013.61.
  14. Edsinger, A. L. (2007). Robot manipulation in human environments. Ph.D. Thesis. 99.2007/edsinger.thesis.Google Scholar
  15. Endo, G., & Hirose, S. (2012). Study on roller-walker improvement of locomotive efficiency of quadruped robots by passive wheels. Advanced Robotics, 26(8–9), 969–988.  https://doi.org/10.1163/156855312X633066.Google Scholar
  16. Falconer, J. (2013). CMU’s CHIMP Humanoid Robot Moves Like a Tank. IEEE Spectrum. https://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/humanoids/cmu-chimp-humanoid-robot-moves-like-a-tank.
  17. Figliolini, G., & Ceccarelli, M. (1999). Walking programming for an electropneumatic biped robot. Mechatronics, 9, 941–963.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0957-4158(99)00040-9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Figliolini, G., & Ceccarelli, M. (2001). Climbing stairs with EP-WAR2 biped robot. In Proceedings of the IEEE Conference of Robotics and Automation (ICRA ’01) (Vol. 4, pp. 4116–4121).  https://doi.org/10.1109/ROBOT.2001.933261.
  19. Fuchs, M., Borst, C., Giordano, P. R., Baumann, A., Kraemer, E., Langwald, J., Gruber, R., Seitz, N., Plank, G., Kunze, K., Burger, R., Schmidt, F., Wimboeck, T., & Hirzinger, G. (2009). Rollin’ justin-design considerations and realization of a mobile platform for a humanoid upper body. In Robotics and automation, 2009. ICRA ’09. IEEE International Conference on (pp. 4131–4137).  https://doi.org/10.1109/ROBOT.2009.5152464.
  20. Garcia, E., Estremera, J., & de Santos, P. G. (2002). A classification of stability margins for walking robots. In Proceedings of the 2002 International Symposium on Climbing and Walking Robots (Vol. 20).Google Scholar
  21. Griffiths, I. W. (2006). Chapter 4: Equilibrium (pp. 94–100). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.Google Scholar
  22. Guizzo, E., & Ackerman, E. (2015). The hard lessons of darpa’s robotics challenge [news]. IEEE Spectrum, 52(8), 11–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Haddadin, S., Albu-Schaffer, a, & Hirzinger, G. (2009). Requirements for safe robots: Measurements, analysis and new insights. The International Journal of Robotics Research, 28(11–12), 1507–1527.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0278364909343970.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hebert, P., Bajracharya, M., Ma, J., Hudson, N., Aydemir, A., Reid, J., et al. (2015). Mobile manipulation and mobility as manipulation–design and algorithms of RoboSimian. Journal of Field Robotics, 32, 255–274.  https://doi.org/10.1002/rob.21566.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Henriksen, K., Battles, J., & Keyes, M. (2008). Home health care patients and safety hazards in the home: Preliminary findings. Advances in Patient Safety: New Directions and Alternative Approaches, 1, 1–16. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK43619/.
  26. Hinds, P. J., Roberts, T. L., & Jones, H. (2004). Whose job is it anyway? A study of human–robot interaction in a collaborative task. Human-Computer Interaction, 19(1), 151–181.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hirose, S. (1996). Design and implementation of intelligent mobile robots: practical aspects. In Industrial electronics, control, and instrumentation, Proceedings of the 1996 IEEE IECON 22nd International Conference on (Vol. 1, pp. LXIV–LXXIV). IEEE.Google Scholar
  28. Hobbelen, D., de Boer, T., & Wisse, M. (2008). System overview of bipedal robots flame and tulip: Tailor-made for limit cycle walking. In IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS ’08).  https://doi.org/10.1109/IROS.2008.4650728.
  29. Hutcheson, T., & Pratt, J. (2008). Reconfigurable balancing robot and method for dynamically transitioning between statically stable mode and dynamically balanced mode. https://www.google.ch/patents/US20080105481. US Patent App. 11/591,925.
  30. Hutter, M., Gehring, C., Bloesch, M., Hoepflinger, M. A., Remy, C. D., & Siegwart, R. (2012). Starleth: A compliant quadrupedal robot for fast, efficient, and versatile locomotion. In: 15th International Conference on Climbing and Walking Robot-CLAWAR 2012, EPFL-CONF-181042.Google Scholar
  31. Jackson, P. L., & Cohen, H. (1995). An in-depth investigation of 40 stairway accidents and the stair safety literature. Journal of Safety Research, 26(3), 151–159.  https://doi.org/10.1016/0022-4375(95)00014-H.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Ju, Z., Yang, C., & Ma, H. (2014). Kinematics modeling and experimental verification of baxter robot. In Control Conference (CCC), 2014 33rd Chinese (pp. 8518–8523). IEEE.Google Scholar
  33. Kiesler, S. (2005). Fostering common ground in human–robot interaction. In ROMAN 2005. IEEE International Workshop on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (pp. 729–734).  https://doi.org/10.1109/ROMAN.2005.1513866.
  34. Kim, J. H., Yang, J., & Abdel-Malek, K. (2008). A novel formulation for determining joint constraint loads during optimal dynamic motion of redundant manipulators in DH representation. Multibody System Dynamics, 19(4), 427–451.MathSciNetCrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  35. Koenig, N., & Howard, A. (2004). Design and use paradigms for gazebo, an open-source multi-robot simulator. In Intelligent Robots and Systems, 2004. (IROS 2004). Proceedings. 2004 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on (Vol. 3, pp. 2149–2154).  https://doi.org/10.1109/IROS.2004.1389727.
  36. Kuindersma, S., Hannigan, E., Ruiken, D., & Grupen, R. (2009). Dexterous mobility with the uBot-5 mobile manipulator. In Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Advanced Robotics (ICAR) (pp. 1–7).Google Scholar
  37. Laffont, I., Guillon, B., Fermanian, C., Pouillot, S., Even-Schneider, A., Boyer, F., et al. (2008). Evaluation of a stair-climbing power wheelchair in 25 people with tetraplegia. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 89(10), 1958–1964.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Leidner, D., Borst, C., Dietrich, A., Beetz, M., & Albu-Schaffer, A. (2015). Classifying compliant manipulation tasks for automated planning in robotics. In IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (pp. 1769–1776).  https://doi.org/10.1109/IROS.2015.7353607.
  39. Martens, J., & Newman, W. (1994). Stabilization of a mobile robot climbing stairs. In Proceedings of IEEE International Conf. on Robotics and Automation (Vol. 3, pp. 2501–2507).  https://doi.org/10.1109/ROBOT.1994.351135.
  40. Martens, J. D., & Newman, W. S. (1994). Stabilization of a mobile robot climbing stairs. In Robotics and Automation, 1994. Proceedings, 1994 IEEE International Conference on (pp. 2501–2507). IEEE.Google Scholar
  41. McCarthy, E. (2007). Israeli military robot is built to kill (mini-uzi included). Popular Mechanics. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-israel-robot/israel-unveils-portable-hunter-killer-robot-idUSL0848163620070308.
  42. McGinn, C., Kelly, K., & Holland, D. (2014). Towards the design of a new humanoid robot for domestic applications. In IEEE International Conference on Technologies for Practical Robot Applications (TePRA).Google Scholar
  43. McNeill, A. R. (1988). Elastic mechanisms in animal movement. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  44. Nelson, G., Saunders, A., Neville, N., Swilling, B., Bondaryk, J., Billings, D., et al. (2012). Petman: A humanoid robot for testing chemical protective clothing. Journal of the Robotics Society of Japan, 30, 372–377.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Novoplanski, A. (2013). Deformable wheel assembly. https://www.google.com/patents/US20130033099.
  46. Novoplanski, A. (2014). Tire for surface vehicle. https://www.google.com/patents/US20140158268.
  47. Palmer, M. E., Miller, D. B., & Blackwell, T. L. (2009). An evolved neural controller for bipedal walking: Transitioning from simulator to hardware. In Proceedings of IROS 2009 Workshop on Exploring New Horizons in Evolutionary Design of Robots (pp. 51–58).Google Scholar
  48. Pfeifer, R., Marques, H. G., & Iida, F. (2013). Soft robotics: The next generation of intelligent machines. In Proceedings of the 23rd International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, IJCAI ’13 (pp. 5–11). AAAI Press. http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2540128.2540131.
  49. Pratt, G. A., & Williamson, M. M. (1995). Series elastic actuators. In Intelligent Robots and Systems 95.’Human Robot Interaction and Cooperative Robots’, Proceedings. 1995 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on, (Vol. 1, pp. 399–406).Google Scholar
  50. Raibert, M., Blankespoor, K., Nelson, G., & Playter, R. (2008). Bigdog, the rough-terrain quaduped robot. IFAC Proceedings Volumes, 41(2), 10822–10825. https://doi.org/10.3182/20080706-5-KR-1001.01833.
  51. Rojas, R. (2006). A short history of omnidirectional wheels. http://robocup.mi.fu-berlin.de/buch/shortomni.pdf.
  52. Ruiken, D., Lanighan, M., & Grupen, R. (2013). Postural modes and control for dexterous mobile manipulation: The umass ubot concept. In Proc. of the 13th IEEE-RAS international conference on humanoid robots.Google Scholar
  53. Semini, C., Tsagarakis, N. G., Vanderborght, B., Yang, Y., & Caldwell, D. G. (2011). HyQ-Hydraulically actuated quadruped robot: Hopping leg prototype. In Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics, 2008. BioRob 2008. 2nd IEEE RAS & EMBS International Conference on (pp. 593–599).  https://doi.org/10.1109/BIOROB.2008.4762913
  54. Shadow Robotics Company. (2013). Shadow dexterous hand technical specification. http://www.shadowrobot.com/wp-content/uploads/shadow_dexterous_hand_technical_specification_E1_20130101.pdf
  55. Sheldon, J. (1960). On the natural history of falls in old age. British Medical Journal. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2098310/.
  56. Siegwart, R., & Nourbakhsh, I. (2004). Chap. 2. The MIT Press, (p. 30).Google Scholar
  57. Spampinato, G., & Muscato, G. (2006). DIEES biped robot: A bio-inspired pneumatic platform for human locomotion analysis and stiffness control (pp. 478–483).Google Scholar
  58. Stilman, M., Olson, J., & Gloss, W. (2010). Golem krang: Dynamically stable humanoid robot for mobile manipulation. In Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2010 IEEE International Conference on (pp. 3304–3309).Google Scholar
  59. Sugahara, Y., Yonezawa, N., & Kosuge, K. (2010). A novel stair-climbing wheelchair with transformable wheeled four-bar linkages. In Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), 2010 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on (pp. 3333–3339). IEEE.Google Scholar
  60. Tao, W., Ou, Y., & Feng, H. (2012). Research on dynamics and stability in the stairs-climbing of a tracked mobile robot. International Journal of Advanced Robotic Systems, 9(4), 146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. The Building Regulations. (2010). Part K: Protection of falling, impact and collisions. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/protection-from-falling-collision-and-impact-approved-document-k.
  62. Theobald, D. (2010). Mobile extraction-assist robot. http://www.google.com/patents/US7719222.
  63. Tilley, A. R. (2001). The measure of man and woman: Human factors in design. Hoboken: Wiley.Google Scholar
  64. Uustal, H., & Minkel, J. L. (2004). Study of the independence ibot 3000 mobility system: An innovative power mobility device, during use in community environments. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 85(12), 2002–2010.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Van Ham, R., Verrelst, B., Daerden, F., & Lefeber, D. (2003). Pressure control with on-off valves of pleated pneumatic artificial muscles in a modular one-dimensional rotational joint. In International conference on humanoid robots (p. 35).Google Scholar
  66. Verrelst, B., Van Ham, R., Vanderborght, B., Daerden, F., Lefeber, D., & Vermeulen, J. (2004). Lucy, a bipedal walking robot with pneumatic artificial muscles. Autonomous Robots, 18(2), 201–213.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Wong, J. Y., & Huang, W. (2006). "Wheels vs. Tracks"–A fundamental evaluation from the traction perspective. Journal of Terramechanics, 43(1), 27–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Zinn, M., Khatib, O., Roth, B., & Salisbury, J. K. (2004). Playing it safe: Dependability in human-friendly robots. IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine, 11(2), 12–21.  https://doi.org/10.1109/MRA.2004.1310938.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EngineeringTrinity College DublinDublinIreland

Personalised recommendations