Archive for March 8th, 2007

Swimming Snake Robot: ACM-R5

Thursday, March 8th, 2007

Ever scared of snakes around your ankles when you were swimming around in the river? Well, I don’t think you have to worry about that with this robot anytime soon, but Hirose Fukushima Robotics lab has created a creepy but way cool looking robot resembling a snake. “ACM-R5â€? can make it’s way around on the ground and even in water.

Snake Robot via Fukushima Robotics Lab

Snake Joint Diagram via Fukushima Robotics Lab
Fig. 4 Joint

The joint of ACM-R5 consists of an universal joint and bellows (Fig 4). It was developed on the basis of the previous model HELIX, which was designed for research of spirochete-like helical swimming. An universal joint plays a role of bones, and bellows do a role of an integument. ACM-R5 can form a smooth shape due to this joint structure, and it is important for effective locomotion. To be precise, the universal joint has one passive twist joint at the intersection point of two bending axis to prevent mechanical interference with bellows.

The control system of ACM-R5 is an advanced one. Each joint unit has CPU, battery, motors, so they can operate independently. Through communication lines each unit exchanges signals and automatically recognizes its number from the head, and how many units join the system. Thanks to this system operators can remove, add, and exchange units freely and they can operate ACM-R5 flexibly according to situations.

ACM-R5 is equipped with advanced control system and shows the ability of amphibious snake-like robots to a certain extent. However a large number of problems are remained for realization of practical snake-like robots, both in software and hardware.

via Trend Magazine