A Robust Electro-Mechanical Interface for Cooperating Heterogeneous Multi-Robot Teams
Wiebke Wenzel, Florian Cordes, Frank Kirchner
In IROS 2015 Proceedings, (IROS-2015), 28.9.-02.10.2015, Hamburg, IROS, pages 1732-1737, 2015. ISBN: 978-1-4799-9994-1.
This paper presents the mechanical development
and testing of a docking device for a highly heterogeneous selfreconfigurable
multi-module/multi-robot system. The overall
system is meant to emulate a robotic lunar exploration mission.
The docking device, more precisely the electro-mechanical
interface (EMI), is an advancement of the reliable electromechanical
connection of the project RIMRES. Since possible
combinations and roles of modules in the multi-robot system
are defined before a mission, a gender-principle approach with
one active and one passive face to be mated was chosen. The experiments
in this paper are conducted to compare the improved
mechanical design with the previous design. With the new
design, docking is successfully tested under loads up to 800 N.
The experiments presented include attaching and detaching in
different EMI orientations with various loads, exceeding those
expected for the application scenario. In further experiments
operations under heavy dust/small particle contamination are