Towards an Intelligent Foot for Walking and Climbing Robots
Florian Cordes, Sebastian Bartsch, Timo Birnschein, Daniel Kuehn, Frank Kirchner
In Proceedings for the joint conference of ISR 2010 (41st Internationel Symposium on Robotics) and ROBOTIK 2010 (6th German Conference on Robotics), (ISR-2010), 07.6.-09.6.2010, Munich, VDE Verlag GmbH, pages 1-8, Jun/2010. ISBN: 978-3-8007-3273-9.
Technical locomotion has up to now been dominated by wheeled or later on tracked approaches. These locomotion principles may be implemented in a straight-forward fashion and are a robust way to move. However, wheels quite soon reach their limit in negotiating rough ground and even tracks can't cope with all kinds of terrain. At least when it comes to climbing vertical surfaces, for example canyons on Mars or the interior of volcanic and lunar craters wheels and tracks are no option for locomotion. The intelligent foot prototype with embedded sensors that is presented in this paper is part of the SpaceClimber project1, which aims at a six-legged climbing robot for steep and rough terrain. The robot is meant to be used for planetary exploration missions such as lunar crater exploration and sample return missions.