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Bionic electronic rat load climb narrow tube is not a problem, fall can also stand up on their own 丨 North Polytechnic production

Alex from The Temple of Ao Fei

Qubits | Official account QbitAI

Narrow, multi-curve spaces difficult to detect?

SQuRo, a robotic mouse from Beijing Polytechnic, gave a negative answer to this.

Bionic electronic rat load climb narrow tube is not a problem, fall can also stand up on their own 丨 North Polytechnic production

It can not only flexibly travel through a small space, easily complete various movements and transform, such as crouching and standing, walking, crawling, etc., it is simply an "artifact" to deal with sudden disasters or narrow pipes:

Bionic electronic rat load climb narrow tube is not a problem, fall can also stand up on their own 丨 North Polytechnic production

You can also quickly turn around within a small radius of less than half your body length, biting your tail and turning 360° (the radius is much smaller than other robots):

Bionic electronic rat load climb narrow tube is not a problem, fall can also stand up on their own 丨 North Polytechnic production

It's even strong enough to get up quickly after a fall.

Bionic electronic rat load climb narrow tube is not a problem, fall can also stand up on their own 丨 North Polytechnic production

Crucially, the mouse is still very capable of carrying weight – it has been able to successfully carry a weight of 91% (200 grams) of its own weight through a field with an inclination angle of 20°.

(Imagine you're carrying a bag about the same weight as yourself up a hill...) )

Professor Shi Qing, the first author of the research results paper, said that there are many foot robots on the market, but most of them are not good at coping with narrow spaces:

Large quadruped robots have strong transport capabilities, but cannot enter narrow spaces; although miniature quadruped robots can enter narrow spaces, their ability to carry heavy objects is limited.

The research from the Beijing Institute of Technology has been published in the journal of the IEEE.

Bionic electronic rat load climb narrow tube is not a problem, fall can also stand up on their own 丨 North Polytechnic production

After seeing the excellent agility and load capacity of this robot mouse, let's take a closer look!

Inspired by rats that are not afraid of narrow curves

Previously, few people have designed a multimodal control framework for small quadruped robots weighing less than 1 kilogram that can plan movement.

Multimodal control refers to the control mode of the strategy that constantly changes with the operating state of the system, and the most appropriate control algorithm can be selected in real time, and the appropriate time is selected to switch, so that the system is more stable, accurate and responsive.

Due to scale limitations, small robots have few hardware components, which results in their low perception and weak processing power.

In addition, existing robot research mainly focuses on dynamic stability and mechanical constraints, while ignoring the motion characteristics of organisms similar to certain robots.

The researchers found that the mice were very agile in various narrow and complex environments, so they prepared to "learn from the mouse" from a biological point of view.

First, the bone structure in the mouse's movement was recorded with X-rays to extract key motor joints, and then a basic model of a quadruped robotic mouse was established.

Bionic electronic rat load climb narrow tube is not a problem, fall can also stand up on their own 丨 North Polytechnic production

The mass of the robotic mouse SQuRo is 220 grams, similar to the weight of an eight-week-old black rat; its body length is also similar to that of a real mouse.

Bionic electronic rat load climb narrow tube is not a problem, fall can also stand up on their own 丨 North Polytechnic production

The Beijing Polytechnic team also gave the machine mouse a multimodal motion planning and control framework that enables it to perceive and process complex real-world environments.

The basic structure is designed according to the 3 major abilities of mouse movement

According to the X-ray analysis, the research team found that mice mainly rely on these three main functions to combine to make various movements:

Limb movements Spinal flexion and extension and lateral curvature of the cervical spine

So the researchers configured the robot mice with 12 degrees of freedom of movement (2 degrees of freedom each for the limbs, 2 degrees of freedom for the waist, and 2 degrees of freedom for the neck), and 4 passive degrees of freedom to mimic the flexion and rotation of the joints.

The degrees of freedom are the number of independent variables. Specifically, if the total number of variables is N and the number of constraints is M, then the degrees of freedom F=N-M.

Bionic electronic rat load climb narrow tube is not a problem, fall can also stand up on their own 丨 North Polytechnic production

The schematic diagram of the limb structure design of the robot mouse is as follows:

Bionic electronic rat load climb narrow tube is not a problem, fall can also stand up on their own 丨 North Polytechnic production

Figures a and b are the schematic diagrams of the mechanism movement and the skeleton model structure of the left forelimb, respectively, and c are the side view of the skeleton model of the left hind limb.

The base of the hind limb is a more curved rod than the forelimb to provide greater forward thrust – consistent with the fact that rats rely primarily on the hind limbs to generate thrust.

The researchers analyzed the mouse's behavior and found that its turning movement was gradually exerted from the head to the torso to the buttocks.

Benefiting from the flexible spine, the mice can quickly change direction.

The cervical vertebrae of mice consist of several segments, of which the rotation angle of the first cervical vertebra reflects the angle between the head and torso.

In the diagram of the rotation angle of the joint below, there are three peaks, corresponding to the three most obvious movements, namely: cervical flexion and extension, flexion and extension of the second thoracic spine of the forelimb, and flexion and extension of the hind limb of the thirteenth thoracic spine.

Bionic electronic rat load climb narrow tube is not a problem, fall can also stand up on their own 丨 North Polytechnic production

Therefore, the researchers equipped the spine with three active degrees of freedom regarding flexion and extension for frontal turning movements in robotic mice.

Since neck rotation is rare in the daily activities of mice, the neck activity of real mice has little significance for designing detection robots.

The researchers configured an active degree of freedom for neck flexion and extension, and an active degree of freedom for neck adduction, both of which are located at the junction of the head and torso.

The robotic mice had a total of 33 vertebral joints, and the researchers set the flexion and extension joints of the hind limbs at the 22nd joint, which is similar to the corresponding joint position of the mice.

Introduction of the research team

The study came from Beijing Institute of Technology.

Bionic electronic rat load climb narrow tube is not a problem, fall can also stand up on their own 丨 North Polytechnic production

Shi Qing, a professor at Beijing Institute of Technology and deputy director of the Institute of Intelligent Robotics of the School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, graduated from Beijing Institute of Technology with a bachelor's degree and a doctorate, and did postdoctoral work at Waseda University, with the main research directions of bionic robots and biomechanical integration.

Bionic electronic rat load climb narrow tube is not a problem, fall can also stand up on their own 丨 North Polytechnic production

The paper was jointly completed by Shi Qing's supervisor Huang Qiang, foreign academician Ofso Fukuda of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the bionic robot team led by Shi Qing.

The bionic mouse studied by the team was once described by Janet Wiles, a professor of computer science at the University of Queensland, as "at the level of sota in the industry".

The team said that in the future, it will further improve the agility of machine mice through methods such as closed-loop control and in-depth dynamic analysis, and is interested in commercializing it.

Where else do you think this robotic mouse can be used?

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