project specification

Treebot

A tree climbing robot which has high maneuverability on an irregular tree environment. The robot's body is a continuum maneuver structure that has high degrees of freedom and extension ability. Treebot has a pair of omni-directional tree grippers that enable the robot to adhere on a wide variety of trees with a wide range of gripping curvature. Treebot is able to change a moving direction in three dimensional space by bending the continuum manipulator.

Specifications

Height135 mm
Length (minimum)325 mm
Length of extension665 mm
Weight600 g
Power source NiMh 4.8V 1000mAh
Continuous operating time 180 minutes
Maximal climb-up speed 22.4 cm/min
Maximal climbing angle105 degrees
Payload1.75 kg

Overview

Treebot has a pair of omni-directional tree grippers that enable the robot to adhere on a wide variety of trees with a wide range of gripping curvature. Treebot is able to change a moving direction in three dimensional space by bending the continuum manipulator.
The robot can maneuver on a complex tree environment, but only five actuators are used in the robots mechanism. 

The main structure of Treebot consists of two parts: an omni-directional tree gripper and a continuum manipulator. Two grippers are connected to the ends of the continuum manipulator. The grippers can grab a tree surface while the continuum manipulator acts as maneuver mechanism to move another end of the gripper to the next position.

The gripper is made of four claws equally separated by 90 degrees. Each claw is formed by two parts and has surgical needles installed at the tip. The sticky force of the gripper is generated by the spine
penetration. All claws in a gripper are actuated by a motor. A pushing plate is mounted at the end of the motor. When the motor extends, the plate pushes all the phalanges and makes them  move upward.
The special design of the gripper permits zero energy consumption in static gripping.

References

Describes the mechanical design and mechanism of Treebot. The motion of Treebot is described. The prototype of Treebot is introduced and the experimental results are summarized.

Tin Lun Lam, Yangsheng Xu. IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, 2011

Elaborate chapter describing the approach of the robot design, its structure, the prototype, and experiments.

Tin Lun Lam, Yangsheng Xu. - Chapter from book Tree Climbing Robot. 2012 (Paywall)

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