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Bimodal mobility actuated by inertial forces with surface elastic bodies in microgravity

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 May 2021

Kenji Nagaoka*
Department of Mechanical and Control Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering, Kyushu Institute of Technology, Fukuoka, Japan
Toshiyasu Kaneko
Department of Aerospace Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan
Kazuya Yoshida
Department of Aerospace Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan
*Corresponding author. Email:


This paper presents bimodal mobility actuated by inertial forces with elastic bodies for an exploration robot in a microgravity environment. The proposed bimodal locomotion mechanism can selectively achieve vibration propulsion or rotational hopping mode based on centrifugal force and reaction torque exerted by the control of a single eccentric motor, where the rotational hopping is the primary locomotion mode for practical applications. The bimodal mobility performance under microgravity is experimentally examined using an air-floating testbed. Furthermore, we also present theoretical modeling of the bimodal mobility system, and the model is verified by comparison with the experiments.

© The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press

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