Bio-inspired design and movement generation of dung beetle-like legs
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African ball-rolling dung beetles can use their front legs for multiple purposes that include walking, manipulating or forming a dung ball, and also transporting it. Their multifunctional legs can be used as inspiration for the design of a multifunctional robot leg. Thus, in this paper, we present the development of real robot legs based on the study of the front legs of the beetle. The leg movements of the beetle, during walking as well as manipulating and transporting a dung ball, were observed and reproduced on the robot leg. Each robot leg consists of three main segments which were built using 3D printing. The segments were combined with four active joints in total (i.e., 4 degrees of freedom) to mimic the leg movements of the beetle for locomotion as well as object manipulation and transportation. Kinematics analysis of the leg was also performed to identify its workspace. The results show that the robot leg is able to perform all the movements with trajectories comparable to the beetle leg. To this end, the study contributes not only to the design of novel multifunctional robot legs but also to the methodology for bio-inspired leg design.
KeywordsInsect legs Hexapod Locomotion Object manipulation Motion analysis
This work was supported by Center for BioRobotics (CBR) at University of Southern Denmark (SDU, Denmark) and the Human Frontier Science Program under Grant agreement no. RGP0002/2017.
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