By Jianguo Zhao et al. With just one motor, awesome!
More info and papers at: http://www.egr.msu.edu/~zhaojia1/doku.php?id=jumping_robot
A solution for automatically landing in a maneuverable position: conic wheels
Docking could be done with magnets, so the connection will self-align to a certain degree and navigation will not need to be as accurate.
Option 1: e.g. three magnets (to avoid offset docking) on a rotating plate so that the magnetic orientation can change.
Option 2: one (strong) magnet in the center.
This would mean the robots would not be symmetric, but have a front and rear side. Thinking about it, that can be an advantage: When colliding, the part before the hinge would need an upwards impulse. This might be easier to achieve when it is passive (no actuator) and thus much lighter than the part behind the hinge.
Worth a try, I think.
An alternative approach to the beacon navigation idea:
Imagine the robots as photophobes with light sensors pointing downwards (e.g. one in the front and one in the back). A gradient on the floor will guide them to the center and keep them from escaping, making an arena fence unnecessary.
It is controlled via an external computes. Amazing movements!
Small and fast!
Source: artiswrong .
I had the pleasure to meet Fumiya Iida from the Bio-Inspired Robotics Lab at ETH Zürich at Robots on Tour. His group researches on unconventional locomotion (e.g. hopping) that uses passive mechanical dynamics for energy efficiency, and on thermoplastic adhesives (hot glue) in robotic applications. Here’s a video of their ultra-cool climbing robot that glues its foot to the wall with hot melt:
This weekend, I am in Zurich for Robots on Tour. Had a short first glance at the exhibition this evening, am looking forward to the opening tomorrow!
A walker with bristle feet
One of the physical problems to solve is that the body of the robots has a shape that is easy to be climbed, also when they are upside down. In the case of the tank-robot alternative, the solution could be to add a sort of self flipping flaps, that turn with gravity.