Locomotion characteristics of a wheeled vibration-driven robot with an enhanced pantograph-type suspension

Front Robot AI. 2023 Aug 11:10:1239137. doi: 10.3389/frobt.2023.1239137. eCollection 2023.


Introduction: The paper considers the improved design of the wheeled vibration-driven robot equipped with an inertial exciter (unbalanced rotor) and enhanced pantograph-type suspension. The primary purpose and objectives of the study are focused on mathematical modeling, computer simulation, and experimental testing of locomotion conditions of the novel robot prototype. The primary scientific novelty of the present research consists in substantiating the possibilities of implementing the enhanced pantograph-type suspension in order to improve the robot's kinematic characteristics, particularly the average translational speed. Methods: The simplified dynamic diagram of the robot's oscillatory system is developed, and the mathematical model describing its locomotion conditions is derived using the Euler-Lagrange differential equations. The numerical modeling is carried out in the Mathematica software with the help of the Runge-Kutta methods. Computer simulation of the robot motion is performed in the SolidWorks Motion software using the variable step integration method (Gear's method). The experimental investigations of the robot prototype operating conditions are conducted at the Vibroengineering Laboratory of Lviv Polytechnic National University using the WitMotion accelerometers and software. The experimental data is processed in the MathCad software. Results and discussion: The obtained results show the time dependencies of the robot body's basic kinematic parameters (accelerations, velocities, displacements) under different operating conditions, particularly the angular frequencies of the unbalanced rotor. The numerical modeling, computer simulation, and experimental investigations present almost similar results: the smallest horizontal speed of about 1 mm/s is observed at the supplied voltage of 3.47 V when the forced frequency is equal to 500 rpm; the largest locomotion speed is approximately 40 mm/s at the supplied voltage of 10 V and forced frequency of 1,500 rpm. The paper may be interesting for designers and researchers of similar vibration-driven robotic systems based on wheeled chassis, and the results may be used while implementing the experimental and industrial prototypes of vibration-driven robots for various purposes, particularly, for inspecting and cleaning the pipelines. Further investigation on the subject of the paper should be focused on analyzing the relations between the power consumption, average translational speed, and working efficiency of the considerer robot under various operating conditions.

Keywords: computer simulation; inertial vibration exciter; kinematic characteristics; locomotion conditions; numerical modeling; oscillatory system; unbalanced rotor.