Design, prototyping and testing of an autonomous hexapod robot with C shaped compliant legs: AbhisHex
Animals have always inspired our intuition that legs are essential for performing gaits and actions over highly rough landscapes. In this view, legged robots can be used to maneuver over different terrains where wheeled robots cannot approach. AbhisHex was inspired from a cockroach running and walking style which helped it to overcome locomotion over any terrains. Cockroach legs are arranged in sprawled posture and are moved in a stereotypical "clock" signal pattern giving it extreme stability over all the terrains. Although the robot leg design is not similar to the cockroach but their co-ordination from stance to swing state is adjusted so as to match that of cockroach gaits. Each of the six legs is actuated by individual motors and has one degree of freedom. AbhisHex is designed in order to achieve speeds covering up to one body length per second over different terrains. The main purpose of building AbhisHex was to use it in exploration of remote locations and hostile environments like space, planets, nuclear power plants, bomb disposal, fire fighting, search and rescue where humans have life risks.
In this thesis, a design procedure is outlined in order to systematically design an autonomous hexapod. The main features considered are mechanical structure and analysis of the body, C shaped leg design, material selection, actuating and driving mechanisms, walking gaits and speeds, payload, control architecture and cost. The hexapod was tested to stand and walk on flat grounds, slopes and uneven terrains.