Millibot Trains for Enhanced Mobility

H. Benjamin Brown, J. Michael VANDE WEGHE, Curt A. BERERTON, and Pradeep K. KHOSLA
IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, Vol. 7, No. 4, December, 2002, pp. 452-461.


Abstract
Abstract--The objective of this work is to enhance the mobility of small mobile robots by enabling them to link into a train configuration capable of crossing relatively large obstacles. In particular, we are building on Millibots, semi-autonomous, tracked mobile sensing/communication platforms at the 5 cm scale previously developed at Carnegie Mellon. The Millibot Train concept provides couplers that allow the Millibot modules to engage/disengage under computer control, and joint actuators that allow lifting of one module by another and control of the whole train shape in two dimensions. A manually-configurable train prototype demonstrated the ability to climb standard stairs and vertical steps nearly half the train length. A fully-functional module with powered joints has been developed, and several have been built and tested. Construction of a set of six modules is well underway, and will allow testing of the complete train in the near future. This paper focuses on the development, design and construction of the electromechanical hardware for the Millibot Train.

Keywords
Modularity, mobility, distributed robotics, trains, snakes

Notes
Sponsor: DARPA Distributed Robotics Program
Grant ID: DABT63-97-1-0003
Associated Center(s) / Consortia: Vision and Autonomous Systems Center and National Robotics Engineering Center
Associated Lab(s) / Group(s): Advanced Mechatronics Lab
Associated Project(s): Millibots
Number of pages: 10

Text Reference
H. Benjamin Brown, J. Michael VANDE WEGHE, Curt A. BERERTON, and Pradeep K. KHOSLA, "Millibot Trains for Enhanced Mobility," IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, Vol. 7, No. 4, December, 2002, pp. 452-461.

BibTeX Reference
@article{Brown_2002_4180,
   author = "H. Benjamin Brown and J. Michael VANDE WEGHE and Curt A. BERERTON and Pradeep K. KHOSLA",
   editor = "Wei-Min Shen, Mark Yim",
   title = "Millibot Trains for Enhanced Mobility",
   journal = "IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics",
   pages = "452-461",
   publisher = "IEEE Periodicals",
   address = "3 Park Avenue, 17th Floor, New York, NY 10016-5997",
   month = "December",
   year = "2002",
   volume = "7",
   number = "4",
}