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A snake-like robot for searching, cleaning passages from debris and dragging victims

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2006
Çağlav, Engin
In this thesis, a snake like robot is implemented for search and rescue applications. The “snake” is intentionally selected as a reference for their ability to move on various environments, but due to the mechanical limitations the implemented snake-like robot design could not be close to the biological counterparts. Although the implemented snake like robot is not a replica of biological snakes; it captured key aspects of snakes such as flexibility, redundancy and high adaptation. To depart from the mechanical limitations; a model of the implemented robot is designed in MATLAB - SIMMECHANICS including a model for the environment. The implemented model is based on the implemented snake like robot but possessed extra features. The model is controlled to perform common snake gaits for navigation. Obstacle avoidance, object (debri or victim) v reaching and object dragging behaviors are acquired for the implemented gaits. Object dragging is accomplished by pushing an object by head or the body of the robot without lifting. For effective navigation, appropriate snake gaits are conducted by the model. All control operations such as obstacle avoidance for each gait and gait selection; a network of self tunable FACL (fuzzy actor critic) fuzzy controllers is used. Although the adapted snake gaits result in the movements which have properties that are not a replica of the real snake gaits, self tunable controllers offered best available combination of gaits for all situations. Finally, truncated version of the controller network, where the implemented mechanical robot’s abilities are not breached, is attached to the mechanical robot.