Latest Papers

ASME Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics

    Design and Reconfiguration Analysis of the Trunk Mechanism for a Reconfigurable Wheeled Mobile Platform

    Abstract

    This paper proposes a reconfigurable wheeled mobile platform (RWMP) consisting of two two-wheeled mobile robots and a reconfigurable trunk. The reconfigurable trunk is a 6R multi-mode single-loop mechanism (SLM) that is obtained by inserting two revolute (R) joints with intersected axes into a planar rhombus 4R mechanism. The 6R mechanism has reconfigurable characteristics owing to changes in the wrench system. All six motion modes and their constraint equations of the 6R mechanism are obtained by solving the closed-loop equation based on the D-H transformation matrix. The analysis shows that the mechanism has six single-DOF motion modes, including a planar rhombus 4R mode, two overconstrained spatial 6R modes, and three coaxial 1R modes. The motion characteristics of the six motion modes are identified using screw theory. The six transition configurations among different modes are identified by combining the constraint equations of each mode. The locomotion modes of the RWMP are designed based on the reconfiguration analysis of the trunk mechanism. The locomotion effect of the RWMP under two confined spaces is verified by simulation analysis and prototype experiment.

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