Abstract

In a previous paper [1] on the design of Capra — a quadruped robot with improved agility, we had presented the main design avenues that were to be considered for the development of an agile mobile walking robot, Capra. The objective of achieving full and autonomous robot agility in harsh environments has always been predominant in our research program on robot design for improved capabilities and applications potential. In this follow-up paper, we report the design results to meet another level of objectives that we had previously determined and currently are incorporating in the Capra hierarchy. Systematic design methodologies that were developed for the robotic machine structure also enable one to consider the Capra robot as not only an agile walking-machine but also as a versatile design platform. It can be deployed for retrofit in many automation applications or for specific uses in harsh environments involving critical design constraints. This design approach has resulted in the development and integration of many of Capra’s fundamental sub-systems by means of a range of modules and prototypes. This paper addresses all the different design issues involved in the development of a versatile design platform for a truly mobile robot. The design methodologies to support the various capabilities are presented here as independent systems, which can be fitted, integrated and retrofitted for any mobile robot configuration. Several design results are presented as examples of the design process.

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