Robotics – Japanese hybrid walking robot

there are many studies about leg-wheel hybrid mobile robot because walking robot has high terrain adaptability on irregular ground but wheeled robot takes advantage of moving speed on smooth terrain. In the past, active wheels were often used for wheeled locomotion. However installation of active wheels restricted walking machine’s ability very much. Because active wheels need actuators, brake mechanism and steering mechanism. This equipment is so heavy and bulky that it’s not practical solution for walking robot which has many degrees of freedom. Proposed hybrid mobile robot named “Roller-Walker” is a vehicle with a special foot mechanism which changes between feet soles for the walking mode and passive wheels for the wheel. (Photo 2(a),(b)) Roller-Walker can utilize the installed actuators for walking, so additional weight is very light. The wheeled locomotion is based on the same principle of roller-skating.

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