Evaluation of a Dust-Resistant Docking Mechanism for Surface Exploration Robots
Wiebke Wenzel, Florian Cordes, Alexander Dettmann, Zhuowei Wang
In Proceedings of the 15th International Conference On Advanced Robotics 2011, (ICAR-11), 20.6.-23.6.2011, Talinn, o.A., pages 495-500, Jun/2011.
In this paper, the development of a docking device for a self-reconfigurable multi-module system with high heterogeneity is presented. The docking device, more precisely the electromechanical interface, is used to connect mobile and immobile units with each other in order to provide a reliable mechanical connection as well as to allow energy and data transfer. A gender-principle approach was chosen which allows docking in different positions. This paper focuses on the mechanical design and conducted experiments. Robustness against influence of particles in size 0,02 mm up to 1,3 mm was proven. Docking operations with loads of up to 600N are possible. Three different contact probe types are evaluated to find an adequate tip for reliably contacting in dusty environments. The work presented in this paper is part of the RIMRES1 project.