A future in which robots help people to do difficult work, already almost arrived. Now, in the framework of rescue or military operations, robotic devices are finding people under the rubble and even neutralize explosive devices. Only now do these things not humanoid robots like Atlas from Boston Dynamics, and apparatus with track wheels. And the thing is that they are easier and faster to move around rocky areas and are much cheaper than the two-legged and futuristic robots. Recently, Israeli engineers have created a tracked robot Reconfigurable Continuous Track Robot (RCTR) that without any problems, overcomes obstacles of varying difficulty. But how does he do it and why do we need it?
About the unusual abilities of the robot was described in a scientific journal IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters. Externally 5-centimeter-tall robot RCTR similar to the chassis of the tracked tank and is a closed strip with the greatest possible flexibility. According to engineers, the angle between the links, which consists of a robot, can change from -20 to 45 degrees. The robot is driven by three engines, but in the future the researchers want to reduce their number to two. This can reduce the cost of the robot and to reduce the consumption of necessary energy.
Robot for rescue and military operations
Due to the special mechanism, some parts can be fastened with each other so that one part of the robot remained flexible, while the other kept a straight shape. Thanks to this special design, the robot can perform some unusual maneuvers, like jumping over pits and obstacles, ascending a slight elevation and safe landing with small hills. The developers claim that the robot can even climb rather large hills of up to 20 centimeters by bending your body at a large angle.
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During the tests the robot RCTR has proved its efficiency in moving through rocky areas and areas covered with grass. This feature will allow the machine to be used for search and rescue operations and even in military missions for reconnaissance of enemy territories. It is not excluded that in the future developed by Israeli engineers are interested in the mechanism of manufacturers of tanks to create models with the best patency rates.
With all this, the robot RCTR there is one big disadvantage — it can only go forward and can’t turn to the side. Most likely, in the future the creators will solve this problem by attaching one track to another and the robot will turn to the sides as well as tanks. How this design will affect the other abilities of the robot, is not yet clear.
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In General, this is not the first crawler robot in the world. Last year we told you about the Japanese company Amoeba Energy, which developed the robot courier for the delivery of parcels. Unlike other similar robots, it is able to rise straight to customers ‘ doors by using ladders. On how he manages it, you can read in our special article.