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Reconfigurable Robot Can Climb Up Its Own Track


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The robot changes its entire body shape on a link-by-link basis.

A robot developed at Ben Gurion University in Israel manages to change its entire body shape on a link-by-link basis, using just one extra actuator to build its own track in the air as it advances.

Credit: Ben Gurion University

Researchers at Ben Gurion University in Israel have developed a mobile robot that can change its entire body shape on a link-by-link basis, using an extra actuator to "build its own track in the air as it advances."

The Reconfigurable Continuous Track Robot (RCTR) is made up of flexible links that move across an actuator.

Each link in the track has a locking pin, and depending on the actuator's setting when that link moves across it, the locking pin can be engaged so that the next link gets fixed at a relative angle of either zero degrees or 20 degrees. This allows the RCTR to rear up to pass over a large obstacle.

In addition, the rear of the robot has a passive system that disengages the locking pins on every link to reset the flexibility of the track as it passes over the top.

From IEEE Spectrum
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