project specification

Space Climber

A six-legged, bio-inspired, energy-efficient and adaptable free climbing robot for mobility on steep gradients to provide a system for extraterrestrial surface exploration missions, paying special attention to mobility in lunar craters to retrieve or analyze scientific samples. The body of the SpaceClimber prototype are lightweight, robust, and as small as possible. However, it has enough space for the integration of all central electronic components as well as the cabling. The body is manufactured in sheet metal construction, which offers a lightweight and robust design. This construction also makes it possible to implement support points for the different components. The closed outer hull consists of polyamide plastic, manufactured with rapid-prototyping SLS technology.

Specifications

Length850 mm
Width1000 mm
Height220 mm
Maximum leg length640 mm
Middle650 mm
Degrees of freedom26 legs 6 x 4
body 1
head 1
Proprioceptive sensors26 motors: position, speed, current, temperature
6 feet: acceleration (three axes), temperature
6 lower leg: spring cylinder immersion
6 leg mounting: six axes force torque
Body: orientation (three axes), supply voltage
Exteroceptive sensors6 feet: pressure (four sensors)
Head: laser range finder, CMOS camera
Mass23 kg
Single leg mass2.5 kg
Body mass (incl. head)8 kg
Max. payload20
Power44.4 V 4Ah (lithium polymer)

Overview

The body of the SpaceClimber prototype are lightweight, robust, and as small as possible. However, it has enough space for the integration of all central electronic components as well as the cabling. The
body is manufactured in sheet metal construction, which offers a lightweight and robust design. This construction also makes it possible to implement support points for the different components. The closed outer hull consists of polyamide plastic, manufactured with rapid-prototyping SLS technology.

The head of the robot is a compact and lightweight module with one DoF to be able to turn left and right. The turning is actuated by a Dynamixel servo. A high-resolution Prosilica camera is used for the vision system, located on the left side of the head. The gap between the left and the right halves of the shell is used by a Hokuyo laser scanner module rotated by 90 degrees.

The legs of the SpaceClimber robot comprise 24 actuator modules. These actuators are built
identically in order to simplify space qualification procedures in further steps. The actuators are dustproof to withstand the harsh lunar environmental conditions. The special outer structure of the actuator compartment leads both to weight reduction and to heat transmission of the components.

References

Thesis focuses on the development, control, and evaluation of the six-leggedrobot. The performance of the developed systemis evaluated and optimized based on empirical data acquired in significant and re-producible experiments.

Prof. Dr. Frank Kirchner, Prof. Dr. Joachim Hertzberg.

Describes the project, it's specifications, control, and the mechanical and electrical design.

Sebastian Bartsch, Timo Birnschein, Malte Langosz, Jens Hilljegerdes. - Journal of Field Robotics, May 2012 (Paywall)

Wevolver 2022