A Novel Amphibious Spherical Robot Equipped with Flywheel, Pendulum, and Propeller

Abstract

The ability of amphibious movement is found widely among small animals such as frogs, tortoises, snakes, and crabs. They can move on land, in water, and even on the water bottom. Inspired by the animals’ moving capability, an amphibious spherical robot with flywheel, pendulum, and propeller has been developed. In this paper, the mechanical structure, motion performance, control architecture, and experimentation of the amphibious spherical robot are presented. The robot can show three outstanding advantages for underwater observation, which distinguish it from the other existing observing robots. First, it can resist great water pressure to protect the internal components that is based on the spherical shell. Second, the robot only requires a single propeller to achieve the flexible movement and control posture in water. Third, the robot can roll on land or on water bottom only through an internal motor that can reduce the energy consumption during the observation process. The robot has a wide range of applications such as underwater observation, search and rescue, sensor networks.

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Correspondence to Yansheng Li.

Additional information

This study was supported by the Science and Technology Research Program of Chongqing Municipal Education Commission (GrantNo.KJ1704107), the National Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 51175048) and the Chongqing Science and Technology Commission (Grant No. CSTC2015jcyjBX0066).

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Li, Y., Yang, M., Sun, H. et al. A Novel Amphibious Spherical Robot Equipped with Flywheel, Pendulum, and Propeller. J Intell Robot Syst 89, 485–501 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10846-017-0558-x

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Keywords

  • Amphibious robot
  • Spherical robot
  • Underwater robot
  • Mechanism design
  • Underwater observation