Biomorphic Hyper-Redundant Snake Robot: Locomotion Simulation, 3D Printed Prototype and Inertial-Measurement-Unit-Based Motion Tracking
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Snakes are one of the most successful species in the world due to the high adaptability in most environments of the earth. A snakebot is a biomorphic hyper-redundant robot that resembles a biological snake. Snakebots are most useful in situations where their unique characteristics give them an advantage in their locomotion environments. These environments tend to be long like pipes or highly cluttered like rubble. Thus, snake robots are currently being developed to assist search and rescue tasks in complex environments.This thesis proposes a detailed architecture to develop a snakebot including building its mathematical model based on statistical geometry analysis and kinematic force analysis; verifying the mathematical model using the numerical simulation; mechanical structure design of the robot; electric system and data transmission system design, and its locomotion data analysis and performance evaluation.In the thesis, we clearly demonstrate that the simulation results prove both the proposed mathematical model and the mechanical design of the robot; the IMU data analysis results agree with the simulation results. To increase the precision level of the IMU based motion tracking for the robot, the Kalman Filter and trapezoid integration algorithms were applied to the data processing and analysis. Finally, the achieved results validate the effectiveness of these applied algorithms. The developed snakebot promises huge potentials in future applications. In our future work, we’ll integrate sensors like camera, force sensing units, and others with the robot, so as to facilitate its control capability with sensor feedback functions. In addition, we will employ and test more powerful microprocessors to improve the real-time computing performance of the robot. Our goal is to make the snakebot an advanced intelligent mechatronic system for fulfilling future search and rescue tasks in the complex and challenging environments.