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Method for Dynamic Mission Branching with Mother and Child Snake Robots Disclosure Number: IPCOM000242100D
Publication Date: 2015-Jun-18
Document File: 4 page(s) / 138K

Publishing Venue

The Prior Art Database


Disclosed is a method for a mother snake robot to keep its current mission while dynamically deploying smaller, child snake robots as needed for a new branching mission or task(s). By deploying a smaller child snake, the mother snake does not need to change course or alter the original mission.

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Method for Dynamic Mission Branching with Mother and Child Snake Robots

Snake robots are highly articulated devices that can coordinate the associated internal degrees of freedom to perform a variety of locomotion capabilities that are beyond the capabilities of conventional wheeled or legged robots. The true power of these devices is versatility, achieving behaviors not limited to crawling, climbing, and swimming. With a high degree of freedom, snake robots are planned for use in surgery, rescue operation, machine parts assembly, painting, cleaning, and many other activities and tasks.

Figure 1 depicts a snake robot. Like a regular snake, the snake robot moves with the head leading the way. As the snake robot travels on a mission, the head of the snake robot navigates and moves ahead by avoiding different obstacle, blockages, etc.

Figure 1: Example snake robot

During the snake robot's travel when engaged in a mission, one or more activity zones that are located near the body of the snake robot and behind the head might need attention. Having the snake robot change course and navigate back to the location of the activity zone in need of attention may take time. Changing the course of the mother snake robot such that the head can lead to the activity zone might not be possible if it is already engaged in a mission. Alternatively, another snake robot might be deployed from the mission control; however, that also takes time to navigate.

A method is needed that enables the mother snake robot to carry smaller snake robots that can be deployed during a mission to seek out dynamic missions, while not altering the mission and path of the mother snake robot.

There are known solutions for using robots collectively for a defined mission, including larger robot carrying smaller robot. However, prior art was not found regarding a mother snake robot carrying deflated child snake robots that can be automatically deployed in an activity zone based on input device data collected to carry out separate or coordinated missions.


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The novel contribution is a method by which one or more child snake robots are affixed to a mother snake robot such that the mother snake robot carries the child snake robots while travelling a route for mission. Upon the identification of any dynamic activity zone that is away from the head of the mother snake robot, the system deploys (from the mother snake robot) an appropriately located collapsible dormant child snake robot(s) to perform a separate dynamic activity. The deployment is configurable to automatically occur, based on data collected from the mother snake.

The core novelty is in the ability for a mother snake robot to carry dormant child snake robots, and then, based on input collection systems, dynamically deploy child snake robots to automatically perform a separate branching mission. This is done without the need to alter the path of the primary mother snake robot mission or in coordination wit...