i1989 `jLarge body robots are not maneuverableenough to negotiate turns in a cramped environment such as inside a nuclear reactor,on a fire location, or in ravine areas. On the other hand, small robots cannottransport the operational equipment that will be needed, nor even the energysources for their own operation. It is in this kind of situation that manifeststhe power of an articulated body, which can distribute loads and carry them,much like a train does.
The KR-II is configured in thesame way as the KR-I, with cylindrically shaped units having three degrees offreedom: in the rotational movement axis which swings to the left and right ofeach segment (q axis), in the perpendicular movement axis (z axis) which slidesthe segments up and down, and in the wheel axis (s axis) for the purpose offorward advance movement as indicated in Fig. 1 .The s axis has wheels instead of crawlers for the purpose of lightening theunit, and as indicated in Fig. 2 , independentsingle wheel construction is utilized in order to adapt to a variety of groundshapes by the degree of freedom of the z axis. The segments can be easilysegmented and transported because they are unitized as in Fig. 3 . By equipping the z axis and s axis withoptical force sensors, the robot can be adaptably propelled on rough surfacestages by impedance control. The manipulator on the end is geared to themovement of the segment, and has a large operational range.
The control computer and batteryare mounted inside and can be run autonomously. Up to this point, running experimentshave been conducted in the natural environment ( Photo.1 ) as well as in city locations ( Photo. 2 ) .The total length is 3.3 meters, each segment is 1.08 meters, has a width of0.48 meters, and has a total weight of approximately 320 kg.
Photo.1 The KORYU-II (KR-II) running autonomously out of doors on an irregular terrain
Fig.1 Configuration of the KR-II
Fig.2 The wheel mechanism of one side, and running adaptably to the ground
Fig.3 Unitized mechanism
Photo.2 The KR-II running experiments in city streets
Shigeo Hirose; Biologically Inspired Robots (Snake-like Locomotor and Manipulator), Oxford University Press, pp. (1993)
S. Hirose, A. Morishima, S. Tukagosi, T. Tsumaki and H. Monobe; gDesign of Practical Snake Vehicle: Articulated Body Mobile Robot KR-II,h Proc. 5th Int. Conf. Advanced Robotics, Pisa, Italy, pp.833-838 (1991)
S. Hirose, E. F. Fukushima and S. Tsukagoshi; gBasic Steering Control Methods for The Articulated Body Mobile Robot,h Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. on Robotics and Automation (ICRA94), pp. 2384-2390, (1994)
S. Hirose, E. F. Fukushima and S. Tsukagoshi; gBasic Steering Control Methods for The Articulated Body Mobile Robot,h IEEE Control Systems Magazine, vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 5-14 (1995). (Invited from ICRA94)E. F. Fukushima and S. Hirose; gHow To Steer The Long Articulated Robot gKR-IIh,h Proc. of the 7th Int. Conf. on Advanced Robotics, pp. 729-735 (1995)
E. F. Fukushima and S. Hirose; gHow To Steer The Long Articulated Robot gKR-IIh,h Proc. of the 7th Int. Conf. on Advanced Robotics, pp. 729-735 (1995)
E. F. Fukushima and S. Hirose; gEfficient Steering Control Formulation for The Articulated Body Mobile Robot gKR-IIh,h Autonomous Robots, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 7-18 (1996)
E. F. Fukushima, S. Hirose and T. Hayashi; gBasic Manipulation Considerations For The Articulated Body Mobile Robot,h Proc. of the 1998 IEEE/RSJ Int. Conf. on Intelligent Robotics and Systems , pp. 386-393 (1998)
E. F. Fukushima and S. Hirose; gOptimal Attitude Control for Articulated Body Mobile Robots,h Proc. of the International Symposium on Adaptive Motion of Animals and Machines, CD-ROM proceedings, Montreal, Canada, August (2000)