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Virginia Tech

1. Saab, Wael. Design and Implementation of Articulated Robotic Tails to Augment the Performance of Reduced Degree-of-Freedom Legged Robots.

Degree: PhD, Mechanical Engineering, 2018, Virginia Tech

This dissertation explores the design, and implementation of articulated robotic tail mechanisms onboard reduced degree-of-freedom (DOF) legged robots to augment performance in terms of stability and maneuverability. Fundamentally, this research is motivated by the question of how to improve the stability and maneuverability of legged robots. The conventional approach to address these challenges is to utilize leg mechanisms that are composed of three or more active DOFs that are controlled simultaneously to provide propulsion, maneuvering, and stabilization. However, animals such as lizards and cheetahs have been observed to utilize their tails to aid in these functionalities. It is hypothesized that by using an articulated tail mechanism to aid in these functionalities onboard a legged robot, the burden on the robot's legs to simultaneously maneuver and stabilize the robot may be reduced. This could allow for simplification of the leg's design and control algorithms. In recent years, significant progress has been accomplished in the field of robotic tail implementation onboard mobile robots. However, the main limitation of this work stems from the proposed tail designs, the majority of which are composed of rigid single-body pendulums that provide a constrained workspace for center-of-mass positioning, an important characteristics for inertial adjustment applications. Inspired by lizards and cheetahs that adjust their body orientation using flexible tail motions, two novel articulated, cable driven, serpentine-like tail mechanisms are proposed. The first is the Roll-Revolute-Revolute Tail which is a 3-DOF mechanism, designed for implementation onboard a quadruped robot, that is capable of forming two mechanically decoupled tail curvatures via an s-shaped cable routing scheme and gear train system. The second is a the Discrete Modular Serpentine Tail, designed for implementation onboard a biped robot, which is a modular two-DOF mechanism that distributes motion amongst links via a multi-diameter pulley. Both tail designs utilize a cable transmission system where cables are routed about circular contoured links that maintain equal antagonistic cable displacements that can produce controlled articulated tail curvatures using a single active-DOF. Furthermore, analysis and experimental results have been presented to demonstrate the effectiveness of an articulated tail's ability to: 1) increase the manifold for center-of-mass positioning, and 2) generate enhanced inertial loading relative to conventionally implemented pendulum-like tails. In order to test the tails ability to augment the performance of legged robots, a novel Robotic Modular Leg (RML) is proposed to construct both a reduced-DOF quadrupedal and bipedal experimental platform. The RML is a modular two-DOF leg mechanism composed of two serially connected four-bar mechanisms that utilizes kinematic constraints to maintain a parallel orientation between it's flat foot and body without the use of an actuated ankle. A passive suspension system integrated into… Advisors/Committee Members: Ben-Tzvi, Pinhas (committeechair), Southward, Steve C (committee member), Kurdila, Andrew J (committee member), Simaan, Nabil (committee member).

Subjects/Keywords: Robotics; Legged Robots; Robotic Tails; Mechanical Design; Dynamic Modeling; Control

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APA (6th Edition):

Saab, W. (2018). Design and Implementation of Articulated Robotic Tails to Augment the Performance of Reduced Degree-of-Freedom Legged Robots. (Doctoral Dissertation). Virginia Tech. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10919/82908

Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):

Saab, Wael. “Design and Implementation of Articulated Robotic Tails to Augment the Performance of Reduced Degree-of-Freedom Legged Robots.” 2018. Doctoral Dissertation, Virginia Tech. Accessed September 26, 2018. http://hdl.handle.net/10919/82908.

MLA Handbook (7th Edition):

Saab, Wael. “Design and Implementation of Articulated Robotic Tails to Augment the Performance of Reduced Degree-of-Freedom Legged Robots.” 2018. Web. 26 Sep 2018.

Vancouver:

Saab W. Design and Implementation of Articulated Robotic Tails to Augment the Performance of Reduced Degree-of-Freedom Legged Robots. [Internet] [Doctoral dissertation]. Virginia Tech; 2018. [cited 2018 Sep 26]. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/10919/82908.

Council of Science Editors:

Saab W. Design and Implementation of Articulated Robotic Tails to Augment the Performance of Reduced Degree-of-Freedom Legged Robots. [Doctoral Dissertation]. Virginia Tech; 2018. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/10919/82908

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