Researchers at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point have developed robot that can be thrown or dropped and always land the right way up.
The robot, called AGRO (Agile Ground RObot), features wheels that are independently driven and steerable, with in-hub motors that provide control in all three axes (yaw, pitch, and roll).
When tossed, the robot's wheels all toe inward by 45 degrees. The front left and rear right wheels can be spun together, along with the front right and rear left wheels, allowing pitch and roll along each axis to be adjusted independently.
Spinning the same pair of wheels in directions opposite to each other causes the robot to yaw, and changing the wheel toe-in angle offers more roll control.
The researchers found ARGO can recover from any initial orientation provided its wheels are spinning at 66 rpm or less.
From IEEE Spectrum
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