A Wheel/Leg robot for wall climbing.
Develop wall climbing robots capable of simple surface locomotion with turning capabilities, plane to plane transitions, and high payload capacity.
Approach: The tri-leg Waalbot uses dry adhesion to stick to walls and ceilings as it climbs. The tri-leg design uses two rotary actuators for a two degree of freedom motion, but includes passive joints and elastic flexures to provide the preload and peeling forces necessary to climb using dry adhesives. 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, meaning it can be easily miniaturized and controlled. The legged motion allows the robot to overcome small obstacles and low angle surface curvatures. Even with this low complexity structure, unlike most other climbing robots, the robot is agile and fast with a small turning radius and plane transitions.
Current Status: The current prototypes climb with synthetic dry adhesives and can climb on smooth and slightly rough surfaces such as wood and painted walls. It is controlled via wireless RF and powered by Lithium Polymer batteries. See videos for demonstrations of turning and transitioning capabilities.
Videos: (newest to oldest)
Summary Highlight Video: Waalbot II - Climbing with Microstructured Synthetic Gecko Adhesives (2009) youtube
Project overview video at Engineering TV(May 08)
On wood cabinets with fiber footpads (May-08) h264 avi youtube, Vimeo HD
Transitioning and turning with fiber footpads (Mar-08) h264 avi youtube Vimeo HD
Remote controlled Waalbot5.5 on acrylic wall (Nov-07) Xvid avi youtube
Waalbot6 on a wood door (Video for ICRA 2008) (Jan-08) Xvid avi
Tri-Leg Waalbot climbing on acrylic, 2x speed (Oct-06) WMV youtube
Tri-Leg Waalbot transitioning from floor to wall(Sept-05) avi.
Waalbot climbing a vertical wall and turning. (Sept-05)AVI
Prototype tri-leg Waalbot climbing. (early version) AVI.
- Engineering TV (June 2008)
- IEEE Spectrum Article May 2008
- New Scientist blog on animal inspired robots with YouTube video
- Daily Planet, Discovery Channel Canada, March 27th 2008.
- Bio-Inspired Robotics review article in Science (Nov. 2007)
- Technology Review Article (May 2007)
Past Members: Casey Kute Mike Murphy, Yigit Menguc, Brad Borwn, Brian Rose, Mike Tanzini, Steve Huber, Will Tso, Will Wedler
Other Wall Climbing Robots
Papers: M. Murphy, C. Kute, Y. Menguc, and M. Sitti,"Waalbot II: Adhesion Recovery and Improved Performance of a Climbing Robot using Fibrillar Adhesives," The International Journal of Robotics Research, October 13, 2010. doi: 10.1177/0278364910382862
B. Aksak, M. Murphy, M. Sitti, "Gecko Inspired Micro-Fibrillar Adhesives for Wall Climbing Robots on Micro/Nanoscale Rough Surfaces," ICRA, Pasadena, CA, May 2008. [pdf]
M. Murphy, M. Sitti, "Waalbot: An Agile Small-Scale Wall Climbing Robot Utilizing Dry Elastomer Adhesives", IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, vol.12, no. 3, June 2007 [available online]
C. Menon, M. Murphy, M. Sitti, "Gecko Inspired Surface Climbing Robots" IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Biomimetics (ROBIO), Shenyang, China, Aug 2004.
M. Murphy, W. Tso, M. Tanzini, M. Sitti, "Waalbot: An Agile Semi-Autonomous Wall Climbing Robot" IROS 2006