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Locomotion on flowing granular ground is unlike locomotion on hard ground because feet and/or wheels experience both solid- and fluid-like forces during surface penetration. This is the essence of why navigating over granular material is a challenging undertaking for most all manmade vehicles. Places such as sandy beaches or snow covered mountain tops typically present very hard, if not unmanageable, obstacles to vehicles of all types. Yet, these same challenging environments are places teeming with animals that have developed effective navigation techniques. Studying such biological models and conducting systematic experiments with robotic models on controlled granular media our group aims to 1) build a concrete understanding of the dynamics of granular material; and 2) design a legged robotic system that can demonstrate high locomotion performance on granular media.
This project is a collaboration between the CRAB Lab, Georgia Institute of Technology (the lead) and Kod*Lab, University of Pennsylvania. The CRAB Lab is the granular material experts and their team conducts systematic experiments on granular material. KodLab contributes the robotics expertise and SandBot experimental platform. This research page is maintained by the UPenn group. For more information you can contact Dr. Haldun Komsuoglu or Prof. Daniel Goldman.
Copyright Kodlab, 2013