Meeting Abstract

P3-108  Wednesday, Jan. 6 15:30  Cockroach-inspired self-righting robots LI, C*; TIAN, R; PORTER, W; HAMMOND, Z; STRACHAN-OLSON, D; KOOKER, AW; OLIVAS, J; KESSENS, CC; JAYARAM, K; FEARING, RS; FULL, RJ; University of California, Berkeley; Army Research Laboratory

Legged animals and robots running in complex natural or artificial terrain must be able to right themselves if they flip over. Recent legged robots, such as RoboCrab, have added extra appendages dedicated to kinematic self-righting. By contrast, insects display far more diverse self-righting strategies using existing body structures and appendages in novel ways, some of which may be well suited for existing robots. Here, we explore likely exaptations where wings and body bending appear to be co-opted for self-righting. We developed two novel self-righting robots as a first step towards taking advantage of structures already existing in some robots. The discoid cockroach inspired robot has two wings that can fold against each other about the fore-aft axis of the body. The Madagascar hissing cockroach inspired robot has two dorsal shells equivalent to body segments that can fold against each other about the lateral axis of the body. By raising the center of gravity and reducing ground contact, the folding motion renders both robots unstable when upside down and results in rapid self-righting. We use experiments and modeling to explore how righting performance depends on folding angle/speed and wing/body shell shape. Our next step is to integrate these novel folding mechanisms with recently developed rounded shells to enable legged robots to both traverse obstacles and self-right. We envision that our approach which takes advantage of existing body/appendage structures will help robots overcome diverse locomotor challenges in complex terrain without adding complex, specialized structures.