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Bioinspir Biomim. 2014 Nov 11;9(4):046013. doi: 10.1088/1748-3182/9/4/046013.

Bioinspired legged-robot based on large deformation of flexible skeleton.

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Department of Engineering Technologies, Bowling Green State University, OH, USA.


In this article we present STARbot, a bioinspired legged robot capable of multiple locomotion modalities by using large deformation of its skeleton. We construct STARbot by using origami-style folding of flexible laminates. The long-term goal is to provide a robotic platform with maximum mobility on multiple surfaces. This paper particularly studies the quasistatic model of STARbot's leg under different conditions. We describe the large elastic deformation of a leg under external force, payload, and friction by using a set of non-dimensional, nonlinear approximate equations. We developed a test mechanism that models the motion of a leg in STARbot. We augmented several foot shapes and then tested them on soft to rough grounds. Both simulation and experimental findings were in good agreement. We utilized the model to develop several scales of tri and quad STARbot. We demonstrated the capability of these robots to locomote by combining their leg deformations with their foot motions. The combination provided a design platform for an active suspension STARbot with controlled foot locomotion. This included the ability of STARbot to change size, run over obstacles, walk and slide. Furthermore, in this paper we discuss a cost effective manufacturing and production method for manufacturing STARbot.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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