Dual tracked robot for mapping of underground tunnels
In this project we developed a novel dual tracked mobile robot. The robot is designed for safe, stable and reliable motion in challenging terrains, tunnels and confined spaces. It consists of two tracked platforms connected with a semi-passive mechanism. Sensors attached to the connecting mechanism provide redundant localization data that improves the vehicle's autonomous dead-reckoning. Each tracked platform mechanically backs-up the other platform, resulting in a more robust and reliable operation. The load share between the platforms enables high payload to weight ration even on soft and slippery terrains. The robot's configurations makes it suitable for motion in confined spaces such as underground tunnels, collapsed structures, pipes and caves. We developed the mechanical design of the robot, its kinematics model, stability analysis and a motion planner. Experimental results conducted on prototype models in various types of environments verify the robot capabilities to successfully operate on challenging terrains.
Shraga Shoval, Amir Shapiro, "Dual Tracked Mobile Robot for Motion in Challenging Terrains", Journal of Field Robotics 28(5): pages 769-791, September/October 2011. (PDF)