2011 Volume 24 Issue 8 Pages 200-206
We have proposed Flexible Mono-tread mobile Track (FMT) as a mobile mechanism on rough terrain for rescue activity, environmental investigation and planetary explorer, etc. Generally speaking, one has to teleoperate robots under invisible condition. In order to operate the robots skillfully, it is necessary to detect not only condition around the robots and its position but also posture of the robots at any time. Since flexed posture of FMT decides turning radius and direction, it is important to know its posture. FMT has vertebral structure composed of vertebrae as rigid body and intervertebral disks made by flexible devices such as rubber cylinder and spring. Since the intervertebral disks flex in three dimension, traditional sensors such as potentiometers, rotary encoders and range finders can hardly use for measurement of its deformation. The purpose of the paper, therefore, is to measure flexed posture of FMT using a novel flexible displacement sensor. We prove that the flexed posture of FMT with five intervertebral disks can be detected through experiment.