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4-bar
A multi-foot robot for wall climbing.

Goal: Develop wall climbing robots capable of simple surface locomotion with high payload capacity and simple drive mechanism.

Approach: The multi-footed 4-bar robot uses flat tacky elastomers to stick to walls and ceilings as it climbs. The 4-bar mechanism design using two rotary motors to actuate the robot. Although only one is strictly required, the second motor avoids singularities in the 4-bar mechanism. A PIC microcontroller is used to control the motion of the robot and onboard power makes the system fully tetherless and wireless RF or IR control allows for teleoperation.

Benefits: This design is simple and straightforward.

Current Status: The current prototypes climb with a flat tacky elastomer and can climb on smooth and slightly rough surfaces such as wood and painted walls. It can be controlled via wireless RF and powered by Lithium Polymer batteries. The assembly process has also been greatly expedited by making changes to the design such as adding alignment pegs and using nylon machine screws. This also allows the robot to be disassembled if the need arises. Some parts have also been strengthened to better withstand impacts.

Future Work: Steering and/or transitioning capabilities will be added to the robot's abilities.

Robot Videos:
Climbing vertically Vimeo
Climbing All Surface Angles (0-360) Vimeo
Inverted Climbing with 100g Payload Vimeo


Members: Casey Kute, Sara Whitby, Matthew Glisson, Metin Sitti

Former Members: Ozgur Unver

Other Wall Climbing Robots

In the News:

Papers:
O. Unver, M. Sitti, "A miniature ceiling walking robot with flat tacky elastomeric footpads" ICRA, May 2009. [pdf]

[CAD showing new 4-bar robot with assembly changes]
[4-bar robot with flat, tacky elastomer footpads]