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Flexible multibody dynamic modeling and simulation of rhex hexapod robot with half circular compliant legs

Oral, Gökhan
The focus of interest in this study is the RHex robot, which is a hexapod robot that is capable of locomotion over rugged, fractured terrain through statically and dynamically stable gaits while stability of locomotion is preserved. RHex is primarily a research platform that is based on over five years of previous research. The purpose of the study is to build a virtual prototype of RHex robot in order to simulate different behavior without manufacturing expensive prototypes. The virtual prototype is modeled in MSC ADAMS software which is a very useful program to simulate flexible multibody dynamical systems. The flexible half circular legs are modeled in a finite element program (MSC NASTRAN) and are embedded in the main model. Finally a closed loop control mechanism is built in MATLAB to be able to simulate real autonomous RHex robot. The interaction of MATLAB and MSC ADAMS softwares is studied.