5060 / Bionic Quadruped Robot for Mars Surface Exploration

Paper presented at the 11th Asia-Pacific Regional Conference of the ISTVS


Title: Bionic Quadruped Robot for Mars Surface Exploration

Authors: Long Qiao, Guangming Chen, Lutz Richter, and Aihong Ji

Abstract: Mars surface exploration has attracted significant attention of scientists for exploiting new resources and space. To perform explorations on Mars surface, various structures of planetary rovers have been proposed. The Mars surface contains loose granular materials and various sizes of rocks. Traditional wheeled, crawler and legged structures of Mars rovers are mainly designed to walk on granular materials terrain, which are incapable of adapting to rocky surfaces. To improve the adaptations for both granular and rocky surfaces, this paper introduces a quadruped legged robot inspired by the locomotion of desert animal lizard that can walk on granular and rocky surfaces. The main feature is that the structure of the proposed robot possesses bionic multi-toe foot and flexible active spine. To verify the robot locomotion, kinematics on foot, leg and spine of the quadruped robot are analyzed. Furthermore, robot motions are analytically predicted with respect to two types of gaits. Combining control framework for adapting to both granular and rocky surfaces, a prototype of Mars robot has been manufactured. Experimental tests demonstrated that the bionic robot can walk on granular surfaces, and can also climb on rocky surface using the multi-joint toe with claw. Therefore, this bionic quadruped robot can have higher adaptability for Mars surface environment.

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