Rapid & Low-Cost Real World Deployment Of Snake-Like Modular Robots Using Fused Deposition Modeling And Evolutionary Robotics
Wei Shun Chee, Jason Teo
Keywords: Evolutionary robotics; Snake-like modular robot; 3D printing; lateral undulation; vertical undulation; lateral rolling.
ABSTRACT: A significant challenge in evolutionary robotics is that the evolved solutions face significant and often insurmountable difficulties when attempting to cross the simulation- reality transference gap. As a result, most of the evolved solutions remain as conceptual designs that are constrained to perform only within the simulation environment. Moreover, the deployment of a fully autonomous robot is an extremely complex, costly, and time-intensive endeavor. In our previous investigations, we have successfully employed a multi-objective co-evolutionary approach to automatically design and optimize a fully autonomous snake-like modular robot to acquire different moving behaviours for effective locomotion. Following the promising research from our previous work, this line of investigation is extended in this study to specifically combine the evolutionary robotics approach with 3D printing in the form of fused deposition modeling to explore the transferability of the evolved solutions from simulation environment to real world deployment. The main goal of this study is to provide a rapid and cost-effective automated design, fabrication and deployment methodology for autonomous snake-like modular robot in order for real world applications. A total of three different moving behaviours were explored for the acquisition and real-world testing by the constructed snake-like modular robot for effective locomotion, which are the lateral undulation, vertical undulation and lateral rolling moving behaviours. Moreover, a unique slot-in method is introduced in this work in designing and fabricating the snake-like modular robot’s hardware parts to ease the robot assembling process. The results from this study show that the transference from simulated to real-world robots is indeed feasible and readily achievable where a transference accuracy of 87.05% was been achieved.
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