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Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering >> 2022, Volume 17, Issue 1 doi: 10.1007/s11465-021-0664-0

Different manipulation mode analysis of a radial symmetrical hexapod robot with leg–arm integration

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With the widespread application of legged robot in various fields, the demand for a robot with high locomotion and manipulation ability is increasing. Adding an extra arm is a useful but general method for a legged robot to obtain manipulation ability. Hence, this paper proposes a novel hexapod robot with two integrated leg–arm limbs that obtain dexterous manipulation functions besides locomotion ability without adding an extra arm. The manipulation modes can be divided into coordinated manipulation condition and single-limb manipulation condition. The former condition mainly includes fixed coordinated clamping case and fixed coordinated shearing case. For the fixed coordinated clamping case, the degrees of freedom (DOFs) analysis of equivalent parallel mechanism by using screw theory and the constraint equation of two integrated limbs are established. For the fixed coordinated shearing case, the coordinated working space is determined, and an ideal coordinated manipulation ball is presented to guide the coordinated shearing task. In addition, the constraint analysis of two adjacent integrated limbs is performed. Then, mobile manipulation with one integrated leg–arm limb while using pentapod gait is discussed as the single-limb manipulation condition, including gait switching analysis between hexapod gait and pentapod gait, different pentapod gaits analysis, and a complex six-DOF manipulation while walking. Corresponding experiments are implemented, including clamping tasks with two integrated limbs, coordinated shearing task by using two integrated limbs, and mobile manipulation with pentapod gait. This robot provides a new approach to building a multifunctional locomotion platform.

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