Modeling and mechanical analysis of snake robots on cylinders



Publication Details

Tang, C., Li, P., Zhou, G., Meng, D., Shu, X., Guo, S. & Li, Z. (2019). Modeling and mechanical analysis of snake robots on cylinders. Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics, 11 (4), 041013-1-041013-11.


The narrow and redundant body of the snake robot makes it suitable for the inspection of complex bar structures, such as truss or tree structures. One of the key issues affecting the efficient motion of snake robots in complex bar structures is the development of mechanical models of snake robots on cylinders. In other words, the relationship between the payload and structural and performance parameters of the snake robot is still difficult to clarify. In this paper, the problem is approached with the Newton-Euler equations and the convex optimal method. Firstly, from the kinematic point of view, the optimal attitude of the snake robot wrapped around the cylinder is found. Next, the snake robot is modeled on the cylinder and transformed into a convex optimization problem. Then, the relationship between the payload of the snake robot on the cylinder and the geometric and attitude parameters of the body of snake robots is analyzed. Finally, the discussion for the optimal winding attitude and some advices for the design of the snake robot are proposed. This study is helpful toward the optimal design of snake robots, including geometry parameters and motor determination.

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