Mobile and climbing robots

The world market of service robotics is continuously growing, and the range of potential applications area is every year wider thanks to the progresses in mechatronics, control, communication technology.
The design of ground mobile robots requires a highly interdisciplinary approach. Within DIME Department, there is a consolidated research expertise in the field of mobile robotics, and in particular ground robotics for unstructured environments. The research issues, due to the mission of the Department, are focused on the mechanical aspects, with the development of innovative locomotion systems.
Two interesting examples are Mantis and Roboclimber.
Mantis (Fig. 1) is a small-scale hybrid leg-wheel mobile robot for surveillance and inspection, which performs purely wheeled locomotion on flat and even terrains, with high speed and energetic efficiency; in case of unevenness and obstacles the legs intervene, realizing a hybrid legged-wheeled locomotion; in particular, the praying mantis shape of the legs allows Mantis to climb square steps higher than the robot itself in rest position.
Roboclimber (Fig. 2) is a large-scale special-purpose climbing robot for steep rocky walls consolidation, actuated by four hydraulic legs and two ropes fixed to the top of the slope. It is equipped with a drilling device capable of inserting telescopic tubes and filling it with liquid concrete, eliminating the need of human presence in a very dangerous operative environments.
Fig. 1 – the small-scale surveillance robot Mantis
Fig. 2 – the large-scale climbing robot Roboclimber