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Toward the Sense of Touch in Snake Modular

Robots for Search and Rescue Operations

Juan González-Gómez, Javier Gonzalez-Quijano,


Houxiang Zhang, Mohamed Abderrahim

Robotics Lab TAMS group


Universidad Carlos III de Madrid University of Hamburg
Madrid (Spain) Hamburg (Germany)

Dr. Juan González-Gómez. Workshop on Modular Robots. ICRA. May-3th-2010


Outline

Outline

1. Introduction
2. Sense of touch
3. Mechanics
4. Experiments
5. Conclusions

A New Application of Modular Robot on Analysis of Caterpillar-like Locomotion 2


1.- Introduction

Urban Search and Rescue Operations (I)

● Environment:
● Unstructured terrain
● Chaotic
● Pieces of rumble
● Priority: to find survivals quickly
● Robot properties:
● Versatility
● Flexibility
● Adaptability

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1.- Introduction

Urban Search and Rescue Operations (II)

●Snakes modular robots are very


good candidates for search and
rescue operations
● Small section
● Flexible body
● Modular
● Robustness
● Versatile
● Low cost

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1.- Introduction

Urban Search and Rescue Operations (III)

●Capabilities needed (at least): Locomotion, climbing and


grasping

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2.- Sense of touch

Touch rings

● Discrete touch rings vs continuous artificial skin


● Easier to adapt to the different snake prototypes
● Distance d can be changed according to the requirements

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2.- Sense of touch

Touch strips

● Flexible capacitive strip


● Consist of three layers
●Electrodes in a flexible
PCB layer
● The strip is bended to
form a touch ring
● It fits snake robots with
different cross section
(circular, squared...)

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3.- Mechanics

Modules

● Y1 modules family
● Cube-M family
● Joined together by screws

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3.- Mechanics

Modular snakes prototypes

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4.- Experiments

Touch strip experiments (I)

● Very early experiments ● Only the first touch strip layer


●Pith-pitch minimum modular ● Only three electrodes
robot

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4.- Experiments

Touch strip experiments (II)

● First tests carried out with Freescale standard electrodes


● Substituted by our touch strip
● Freescale software is used to display the measures

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4.- Experiments

Modular grasping simulation

●Grasping of a cylinder using the OpenRave Modular robot Plug-in


(developed by ourselves)

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6.- Conclusions

Conclusions

●Modular Snake robots are good candidates for being used in USAR
Operations
● At least, locomotion, climbing and grasping capabilities are needed
● The sense of touch is key to achieving these capabilities
● Our idea is to use touch rings and touch strips
● The early experiments are promising....

...But still a lot of research have to be done

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Towards the Sense of Touch in Snake Modular
Robots for Search and Rescue Operations

Juan González-Gómez, Javier Gonzalez-Quijano,


Houxiang Zhang, Mohamed Abderrahim

Robotics Lab TAMS group


Universidad Carlos III de Madrid University of Hamburg
Madrid (Spain) Hamburg (Germany)

Dr. Juan González-Gómez. Workshop on Modular Robots. ICRA. May-3th-2010