This is the site for the robotics dynamic climbing project, a collaborative work between the CEAR Lab at Technion – Israel Institute of technology, the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, and the LIMS Lab at Northwestern University.
This work extends dynamic robotic legged locomotion from horizontal motions such as walking, hopping, and running, to vertical motions such as leaping maneuvers. We propose a few mechanisms to achieve such motion. We are inspired by parkour! The mechanisms use only frictional contact with the environment and do not use spines, magnets, etc. By using dynamics to our advantage, the mechanisms stay in contact with the wall and “kick” themselves toward the other wall.
The first mechanism, called DSAC for Dynamic, Single Actuated Climber, propels itself upwards by oscillating its leg in a symmetric fashion using a single actuator. The mechanism proposed here achieves dynamic, vertical motion while retaining simplicity in design and control.
The second mechanism is an incarnation of the DSAC. Our motivation was to miniaturize this mechanism and to allow continuous rotation of the motor instead of oscillation. The Minimalistic, Dynamic, Tube Climbing Robot is a mechanism which can climb up tubes of different shapes using a simple dc motor. The motor moves an eccentric mass in a constant velocity. The location of the eccentric mass relative to the contact point determines the stability and the direction of the climbing motion. This mechanism climbs robustly without relying on bristles, fibers or other similar kinds of attachment mechanism, so it can be retracted easily when power is shut off.
We are currently working on the ParkourBot, a more complex but more efficient and a better climber using the Bowleg concept. The robot comprises two springy legs connected to a body. Leg angle and spring tension are independently controlled. The robot climbs between two parallel walls by leaping from one wall to the other. During flight, the robot stores elastic energy in its springy legs and automatically releases the energy to “kick off” the wall during touch down. This work is a collaboration between Carnegie Mellon University and Northwestern University.