Creation of Robotic Snake to Validate Contact Modeling in Simulation

Report No. ARL-CR-0725
Authors: Mark Hoppel*
Date/Pages: December 2013; 16 pages
Abstract: The objective of this project was to create a robotic snake that could be compared to an identical snake in a simulation program called LMS Virtual Lab. The robotic snake would then be able to confirm the effectiveness of the simulation program and would help determine the coefficient of friction in contact modeling. The snake body was roughly based on the design of the Carnegie Mellon University snake robots. It was constructed using a series of links made of polycarbonate and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (PC-ABS) plastic connected by MX-28 Dynamixel motors. The links were designed so that the robot could be tracked using a VICON motion tracking system. Slots were cut into the sides of the skin so that the number of contact points with the ground could be adjusted in order to find out how many contact points were needed to create an adequate simulation. The robot was fed a tapered sine wave in order to simulate a slithering motion.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: December 1, 2013