Motion planning for tree climbing with inchworm-like robots
Article first published online: 3 JUL 2012
© 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Journal of Field Robotics
Volume 30, Issue 1, pages 87–101, January / February 2013
How to Cite
Lam, T. L. and Xu, Y. (2013), Motion planning for tree climbing with inchworm-like robots. J. Field Robotics, 30: 87–101. doi: 10.1002/rob.21431
- Issue published online: 10 DEC 2012
- Article first published online: 3 JUL 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 29 MAY 2012
- Manuscript Received: 19 SEP 2011
This paper proposes a global path- and motion-planning algorithm that enables inchworm-like robots to navigate their way up tree branches. The intuitive climbing space representation method proposed here greatly simplifies the path-planning problem. The dynamic programming algorithm can be used to identify the optimal path leading to the target position in the target direction according to the constraints and requirements specified. The planned path can be applied in any tree-climbing robot that utilizes the nonenclosure gripping method. An efficient motion-planning algorithm for continuum inchworm-like robots is then developed to enable them to climb along the planned path with a high degree of accuracy. In comparison with the method proposed in our previous study, the method proposed herein significantly improves consistency between the planned path and the motions of the robot, and therefore makes it more practical to implement the motion-planning algorithm in trees of different shapes. The paper also describes hardware experiments in which the proposed planning algorithm is applied to enable inchworm-like robots to climb real trees, thus validating the proposed planning algorithm in practice. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.