A terrain adaptive tracked mobile robot with variable configurations – LMA was developed with an enhanced maneuverability to travel over a variety of rough and unpredictable surfaces. The active terrain adaptability of the robot is achieved through a pair of flippers, i.e. track configuration-controlling mechanisms. The mechanism can change and control tracks configurations to adapt all terrains, provide the tracks with a continuously invariable spring force to tension tracks, and adjust the center of gravity of the robot system to prevent it turning over from slopes or obstacles. This technology has been used in the development of an innovative Micro-rover for the space exploration. Two U.S. Patents (US 7493976, US 7600592) and one Canadian patent (CA2555455) were awarded to Engineering Services Inc. (ESI) for the invention of this technology in the past two years.
Keywords: Tracked mobile robot, LMA (Linkage Mechanism Actuator), variable configurations, track configuration controlling mechanism, cam, multiple configurations, Micro-rover, negotiate obstacles, center of gravity, planetary wheel
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