A Robust Polyurethane Depositing System for Overcoming Obstacles in Disaster Scenario Robotics
One of the most difficult challenges for terrestrial robotic platforms in disaster scenarios is their inability to traverse highly irregular terrain. Many different robotic architectures have been proposed over recent years, each with benefits and shortfalls. In this work, we propose a Polyurethane Foam depositing system, which can be applied to any such platform and increase its ability to overcome obstacles significantly. The system proposed is inexpensive, and the way in which it overcomes obstacles allows very simple control systems for autonomy. The deposited foam has a potential expansion ratio of over 33\(\times \) its constituent parts and a final compressive strength exceeding 2 MPa, final mechanical properties can be tuned on board. The system has been implemented on a two-tracked rover and its autonomous responses tested against significant objects and chasms. The results show that the amount of foam deposited can be well controlled and multiple layers can be stacked on top of each other to significantly increase altitude.
KeywordsRobotics Disaster scenario Polyurethane Foam Overcoming obstacles Search and rescue
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