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Towards a Self-Deploying and Gliding Robot

  • Mirko KovačEmail author
  • Jean-Christophe Zufferey
  • Dario Floreano
Chapter

Abstract

Strategies for hybrid locomotion such as jumping and gliding are used in nature by many different animals for traveling over rough terrain. This combination of locomotion modes also allows small robots to overcome relatively large obstacles at a minimal energetic cost compared to wheeled or flying robots. In this chapter we describe the development of a novel palm-sized robot of 10 g that is able to autonomously deploy itself from ground or walls, open its wings, recover in mid-air, and subsequently perform goal-directed gliding. In particular, we focus on the subsystems that will in the future be integrated such as a 1.5 g microglider that can perform phototaxis; a 4.5 g, bat-inspired, wing-folding mechanism that can unfold in only 50 ms; and a locust-inspired, 7 g robot that can jump more than 27 times its own height. We also review the relevance of jumping and gliding for living and robotic systems and we highlight future directions for the realization of a fully integrated robot.

Keywords

Shape Memory Alloy Pulse Width Modulation Rough Terrain Shape Memory Alloy Wire Torsion Spring 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank Martin Fuchs and Gregory Savioz for their significant contribution in the development of the wing-folding mechanism and the jumping robot. Also we would like to thank the Atelier de l’Institut de production et Robotique (ATPR), and André Guignard for their competent advice and endurance in the iterative fabrication process. Many thanks to Hans Ulrich Buri at EPFL for the fruitful discussion and advise on the Origami structures. This project is funded by EPFL and by the Swiss National Science Foundation, Grant number 200021-105545/1.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mirko Kovač
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jean-Christophe Zufferey
    • 1
  • Dario Floreano
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Intelligent SystemsEPFLLausanneSwitzerland

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