Stiffness variability in jamming of compliant granules and a case study application in climbing vertical shafts

Jamming of granular media has been shown to possess the property of stiffness variation, transitioning from a soft to a quasi-solid state depending on the packing density of the granules. Recently, a gradual stiffness change for bending has been reported by using compliant, cubic shaped granules. Here we demonstrate that the same method and material also exhibits a gradual stiffness change for compression. As a potential application of "compliant jamming", a bio-inspired robotic platform with jamming membranes as end effectors is designed and tasked with climbing straight vertical shafts. First, the benefit of varying the bending stiffness is investigated in the climbing task by measuring the friction force that the end effectors are applying to the shaft walls, especially if the walls are irregularly shaped. Then the role of compressive stiffness variation is explored by analyzing the performance of the robot in the climbing task, showing multi-modal properties of jamming membranes: (i) enabling a pressure sensor to detect the shaft walls, acting (ii) as grippers that actively use the irregularities of the walls to climb up by state-switching the granular material and (iii) as force dissipators that can dissipate internal forces caused by closed kinematic chains.


Published in:
2018 Ieee International Conference On Robotics And Automation (Icra), 1559-1566
Presented at:
IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Brisbane, AUSTRALIA, May 21-25, 2018
Year:
Jan 01 2018
Publisher:
Los Alamitos, IEEE COMPUTER SOC
ISSN:
1050-4729
ISBN:
978-1-5386-3081-5
Keywords:
Laboratories:




 Record created 2018-12-13, last modified 2019-08-12


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