When you think of robot locomotion, what is the first thing that comes to mind? A biped? a wheeled mobile robot? A differential drive system?  I honestly believe that there are many more interesting biologically inspired locomotion mechanisms out there that just need to be implemented.

For example, I think snakes use a very cool locomotion mechanism. They can move forward, sideways, turn and climb up a pipe with no legs or wheels! Now imagine if the snake locomotion is to be implemented on a wheeled robot, you will have something similar to the Roller racers from the 80's (remember those?).

In the late 80's snakeboards emerged, they are a good example of a nonholonomic system that uses the change in the geometry in order to propel  in different directions. More information on the mechanism and operation of a snakeboard can be found on wikipedia and in this cool Youtube link.

As part of a research done at the American University of Beirut we decided to build a robot that is inspired by the motion of the Snakeboard. This is how ShakerBot was born. This robot will be used in the future to study different locomotion algorithms.

The following video shows the ShakerBot moving while being teleoperated wirelessly. The original 3D model of the ShakerBot is displayed as well.

In order to read about the theory behind the locomotion of the ShakerBot move to step 8. However if you want to see how the ShakerBot was designed and made move along in the steps.

The system is  easy to build, follow the steps and you may get the weirdest moving robot ever!

For more info about our ShakerBot checkout this link.

Step 1: What you need

As simple as it sounds, all that one needs is two steering assemblies and one rotor assembly.
The choice of actuators ranges from DC motors coupled with encoders (like in our case) to simple RC servo motors. Full rotation might be needed for advanced gait generation, but simple bounded rotation can be achieved with simple RC servo motors.

The majority of the parts is custom made. The list of raw materials goes as follows:

Chassis: 50X60cm 12mm Plexiglass
Flywheel: 8mm thick steel disk, 27 cm diameter.
steel 8cm diameter rod, 15cm in length
steel 2cm diameter rod, 15cm in length

In addition, we bought many non custom parts:

1X Drill rod (12 inch in length) from Mcmaster (part # 4345T41)
4XFriction wheels from Mcmaster (part # 2471K26)
2X Creeper caster wheels(Mcmaster part # 2475T6) (Any caster wheel works)
Arduino Mega (Uno if servos were used)
2X DC motors (24V Planetary Gbox 100:1)
2X optical encoders AMT103
2X 10mmX26mm bearings(SKF part #6000-2RSH)

(24 X) 8mm washers
(28 X) 3mm washers
(8 X) 3*25mm bolt
(4 X) 8*70mm bolt
(8 X) 8*40mm bolt
(12 X) 3*10mm bolt
(12 X) 3mm nut
(12 X) 8mm nut
(4X) 5*5mm Allen screw
(2X) 6*6mm Allen screw

11.1V 2200mAh Lipo Batteries but any regular Ni-Cd battery (heavy) will do the job.

Wireless communication (bluetooth) was used for teleoperating the robot. Low cost Bluetooth adapter ARF32 or MikroElektronika Bluetooth Stick can do the job.

That's really cool and well documented! :) I did my 4th year dissertation on snakeboarding. My original plan was to build a robot but time and money constraints meant I was advised to keep it purely simulation based. <br> <br>http://jonathanjamieson.com/about-me/university-stuff/snakeboard-dissertation/ <br> <br>I built a little controller to interface with the simulation, it would be very interesting to try controlling your robot with it. <br> <br>I can't believe it's taken me this long to find this robot... possibly it's because you released this just after I had finished my dissertation and I was all snakeboarded out!

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