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Your location: Home > Related Articles > Researchers have designed military robots that can independently decide whether to use wheels or legs for obstacle crossing

Researchers have designed military robots that can independently decide whether to use wheels or legs for obstacle crossing

Author:QINSUN Released in:2024-02 Click:23

One effective way for robots to move in the environment is for the wheels to move on relatively stable terrain. However, when it comes to overcoming certain types of obstacles, wheels are not an effective way of traveling. For example, legs can help robots climb obstacles such as stairs. Scientists from Texas A&M University are collaborating with DARPA to manufacture robots for military applications that can determine whether wheels or legs are more suitable for crossing terrain with or without human intervention.

This project is part of the DARPA Offensive Crowding Tactics (OFFSET) project in the Department of Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution at the university. The robot concept diagram below is presented as part of the third on-site experiment of OFFSET. Associate Professor Kiju Lee also announced that she has been awarded a new DARPA contract for the work of Offset Sprint-5, with a focus on enhancing the physical robot test bench.

The focus of this plan is to develop unmanned ground vehicles with agile and multifunctional locomotive capabilities for urban military operations. Lee and her team are developing an adaptive wheel and leg convertible robot called a-WaLTR, which can more effectively span different services, including stairs. The robot can use wheels or legs to move as needed and can decide which one to use on its own.

The team is currently developing a prototype to showcase the hardware platform at the OFF SET FX5 scheduled for February 2021. The team also pointed out that although the technology was created for military applications, they hope that it will have other applications in the future. Lee stated that this highly adaptable robot can be applied in fields such as space, domestic services, surveillance, and agriculture.

There is currently no indication that the functional prototype of the robot has been constructed. It is currently unclear what the value of the robot manufacturing contract awarded by DARPA is.