Your browser does not support JavaScript!

Author: Tronserve admin

Monday 26th July 2021 08:16 PM

VelociRoACH Gets New Shell for Robot-on-Robot Smashing


image cap
147 Views

UC Berkeley’s VelociRoACH robots are something like a decade old — the first one, DASH, was offered at IROS 2009, back when IROS was small enough to fit into a Hyatt in St. Louis, Mo. The upgraded VelociRoACH showed up last year, and we’re still seeing it being used for innovative new research. The great thing about these little robots is that they’re cheap, easy to build (mostly cardboard), and even easier to adjust, so they’ve evolved swiftly over the years with things like wings and winches and drone launchers.

 

A few years ago, the addition of a shell (which actual roaches have) plus a tail (which actual roaches thankfully do not have) allowed VelociRoACH to flip itself over if it ended up upside down. This performed really well, but it did add a little bit of complication and expenditure to the VelociRoACH design. Not problem or cost that you’d care about if you were just making one robot, or 10 robots, or even maybe a 100 robots, but the whole point of making super cheap little mobile robots like VelociRoACH is that you want to be able to churn out thousands of them, and then deploy them in gigantic swarms to (say) find people in rubble after an earthquake.

 

The latest version of VelociRoACH leverages the swarm idea to solve the flipped-over robot problem using nothing more than a slightly-redesigned shell. Alternatively of using a cockroach-like rounded robot, a square-fronted shell allows one robot to simply smash itself headfirst into another robot until it flips it over.

 

The design of the shell is a bit more difficult than just cutting the ends off to make it square-ish instead of round-ish. The profile has to be circular rather than elliptical, and the addition of some rubberized grass turns out to be important for the robot to flip over at all. It’s also an intentional compromise between size and righting efficiency. With a much larger shell, you could either take advantage of the Weeble effect, or format the shell to work like a Gömböc, helping the robot flip itself through clever geometry. But doing either of those things would affect the capacity of the robot to skitter through small spaces.

 

The overall success rate of this robot-on-robot righting method is 87 percent, but it doesn’t really matter, because there’s no reason not to just keep trying over and over. It also doesn’t completely matter whether these robots have sensors on them that can identify other robots and restrict them with sufficient precision to nudge them in precisely the right way on the first try, because if you know within a few tens of centimeters or so where the upside-down robot is, you can just keep running back and forth through that area until you run into it and flip it over successfully. This is the nice thing about cheap robot swarms—by embracing their lack of sophistication, it’s possible to find ways to make them as effective as robots that are more complicated and expensive.



This article is originally posted on IEEESPECTRUM.com


Share this post:


This is the old design: Please remove this section after work on the functionalities for new design

Posted on : Monday 26th July 2021 08:16 PM

VelociRoACH Gets New Shell for Robot-on-Robot Smashing


none
Posted by  Tronserve admin
image cap

UC Berkeley’s VelociRoACH robots are something like a decade old — the first one, DASH, was offered at IROS 2009, back when IROS was small enough to fit into a Hyatt in St. Louis, Mo. The upgraded VelociRoACH showed up last year, and we’re still seeing it being used for innovative new research. The great thing about these little robots is that they’re cheap, easy to build (mostly cardboard), and even easier to adjust, so they’ve evolved swiftly over the years with things like wings and winches and drone launchers.

 

A few years ago, the addition of a shell (which actual roaches have) plus a tail (which actual roaches thankfully do not have) allowed VelociRoACH to flip itself over if it ended up upside down. This performed really well, but it did add a little bit of complication and expenditure to the VelociRoACH design. Not problem or cost that you’d care about if you were just making one robot, or 10 robots, or even maybe a 100 robots, but the whole point of making super cheap little mobile robots like VelociRoACH is that you want to be able to churn out thousands of them, and then deploy them in gigantic swarms to (say) find people in rubble after an earthquake.

 

The latest version of VelociRoACH leverages the swarm idea to solve the flipped-over robot problem using nothing more than a slightly-redesigned shell. Alternatively of using a cockroach-like rounded robot, a square-fronted shell allows one robot to simply smash itself headfirst into another robot until it flips it over.

 

The design of the shell is a bit more difficult than just cutting the ends off to make it square-ish instead of round-ish. The profile has to be circular rather than elliptical, and the addition of some rubberized grass turns out to be important for the robot to flip over at all. It’s also an intentional compromise between size and righting efficiency. With a much larger shell, you could either take advantage of the Weeble effect, or format the shell to work like a Gömböc, helping the robot flip itself through clever geometry. But doing either of those things would affect the capacity of the robot to skitter through small spaces.

 

The overall success rate of this robot-on-robot righting method is 87 percent, but it doesn’t really matter, because there’s no reason not to just keep trying over and over. It also doesn’t completely matter whether these robots have sensors on them that can identify other robots and restrict them with sufficient precision to nudge them in precisely the right way on the first try, because if you know within a few tens of centimeters or so where the upside-down robot is, you can just keep running back and forth through that area until you run into it and flip it over successfully. This is the nice thing about cheap robot swarms—by embracing their lack of sophistication, it’s possible to find ways to make them as effective as robots that are more complicated and expensive.



This article is originally posted on IEEESPECTRUM.com

Tags:
uc kerkeley velociroach iros