Researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) have developed a new robot that is highly maneuverable. The robot can climb, crawl, and creep through small spaces and over uneven terrain. The robot’s body can help it to crawl through narrow gaps, pipe, or tunnel, climb up closely-spaced walls and over large obstacles, reposition itself to run on flat surfaces, and move independently. It is equipped with adjustable sprawling wheel legs. The new Rising Sprawl-Tuned Autonomous Robot (RSTAR) was launched in Brisbane, Australia at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2018) between May 21 and 25.
BGU Working on Larger STAR Robot Version that will Climb over Larger Obstacles
Department of Mechanical Engineering lecturer at BGU, Dr. David Zarrouk said that the RSTAR is perfect for rescue and search operations in flooded areas, collapsed buildings, and other unstructured environments, where it is required to overcome and adapt to various consecutive hurdles to reach its target. The robot is designed to overcome common hurdles, change shape, and function reliably and in a simple manner without any external mechanical interference. It was Dr. Zarrouk who designed the robot with the help of Liran Yehezkel, BGU robotics lab worker and student. A wide scope of applications that need longer work time could be completed by the robot due to its relatively low energy consumption and high speed.
The robot can traverse sand, mud, and other granular or soft surfaces without getting stuck by switching to spoke wheels. It can travel over 3 ft. per second on hard flat surfaces using its round wheels.