Title: From the biological model to a small climbing caterpillar robot

Authors: H.X. Zhang, J.W. Zhang, W. Wang

Addresses: Department Informatics, Faculty of Mathematics, Informatics and Natural Sciences, University of Hamburg, Vogt-Koelln-Strasse 30, Hamburg 22527, Germany. ' Department Informatics, Faculty of Mathematics, Informatics and Natural Sciences, University of Hamburg, Vogt-Koelln-Strasse 30, Hamburg 22527, Germany. ' Robotics Institute, School of Mechanical Engineering and Automation, Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 37 Xueyuan Road, Beijing 100083, China

Abstract: This paper presents an overview of an ongoing project on a bio-inspired climbing caterpillar robot. First, an investigation on locomotion kinematics adopted by climbing robots is presented. After that, a related survey on the natural creatures which can climb on vertical surfaces in different materials is given. The special attention is emphasised on the natural caterpillars| locomotion mechanism. In this project, we combine climbing techniques with a modular approach to realise a novel prototype as a flexible wall climbing robotic platform featuring an easy-to-build mechanical structure, a low-frequency vibrating passive attachment principle and various locomotion capabilities. The research objects, system design and current achievements are presented step by step. In the end, a conclusion is given and the future work is outlined.

Keywords: climbing robots; bio-inspired robotics; system design; caterpillar robots; locomotion kinematics; robot kinematics; biological modelling; wall climbing; robot design.

DOI: 10.1504/IJAMECHS.2010.030852

International Journal of Advanced Mechatronic Systems, 2010 Vol.2 No.1/2, pp.90 - 98

Published online: 10 Jan 2010 *

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