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On the Unification of Legged and Aerial Robots for Planetary Exploration Missions

Publicerad: 6 maj 2022

Jakub Haluška, Anton Koval and George Nikolakopoulos
Applied Sciences, 2022

In this article, we address the task of developing a unified solution that incorporates quadruped and aerial robots for planetary exploration missions. The designing process takes recommendations provided by Boston Dynamics for building custom payloads for the Spot robot, as well as its kinematic constraints. The unification task itself encompasses design of a passive drone landing platform as a hardware link between the Spot robot and the drone, which has active locking and unlocking capabilities required to securely keep the drone on the Spot independently whether it is standing or moving. Thus, in the designed unification solution, the landing platform does not impact the overall robot mobility and has no interference with the robot’s legs. The initial solution design was extensively evaluated in a series of tests at the laboratory, which demonstrated its viability.