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Proceedings Paper

Modeling, validation and analysis of a Whegs robot in the USARSim environment
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Paper Abstract

Simulation of robots in a virtual domain has multiple benefits. End users can use the simulation as a training tool to increase their skill with the vehicle without risking damage to the robot or surrounding environment. Simulation allows researchers and developers to benchmark robot performance in a range of scenarios without having the physical robot or environment present. The simulation can also help guide and generate new design concepts. USARSim (Unified System for Automation and Robot Simulation) is a tool that is being used to accomplish these goals, particularly within the realm of search and rescue. It is based on the Unreal Tournament 2004 gaming engine, which approximates the physics of how a robot interacts with its environment. A family of vehicles that can benefit from simulation in USARSim are WhegsTM robots. Developed in the Biorobotics Laboratory at Case Western Reserve University, WhegsTM robots are highly mobile ground vehicles that use abstracted biological principles to achieve a robust level of locomotion, including passive gait adaptation and enhanced climbing abilities. This paper describes a WhegsTM robot model that was constructed in USARSim. The model was configured with the same kinds of behavioral characteristics found in real WhegsTM vehicles. Once these traits were implemented, a validation study was performed using identical performance metrics measured on both the virtual and real vehicles to quantify vehicle performance and to ensure that the virtual robot's performance matched that of the real robot.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 April 2008
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 6962, Unmanned Systems Technology X, 69621B (16 April 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.777604
Show Author Affiliations
Brian K. Taylor, Case Western Reserve Univ. (United States)
Stephen Balakirsky, National Institute of Standards and Technology (United States)
Elena Messina, National Institute of Standards and Technology (United States)
Roger D. Quinn, Case Western Reserve Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6962:
Unmanned Systems Technology X
Grant R. Gerhart; Douglas W. Gage; Charles M. Shoemaker, Editor(s)

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