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Snake robots, sometimes called hyper-redundant mechanisms, can use their many degrees of freedom to achieve a variety of locomotive capabilities. These capabilities are ideally suited for disaster response because the snake robot can thread through tightly packed volumes, accessing locations that people and conventional machinery otherwise cannot. Snake(More)
— Snake robots have many degrees of freedom, which makes them both extremely versatile and complex to control. In this paper, we address this complexity by introducing two algorithms. Annealed chain fitting efficiently maps a continuous backbone curve to a set of joint angles for a snake robot. Keyframe wave extraction takes joint angles fit to a sequence(More)
—Several efforts have recently been made to relate the displacement of swimming three-link systems over strokes to geometric quantities of the strokes. In doing so, they provide powerful, intuitive representations of the bounds on a system's lo-comotion capabilities and the forms of its optimal strokes or gaits. While this approach has been successful for(More)
— Many factors such as size, power, and weight constrain the design of modular snake robots. Meeting these constraints requires implementing a complex mechanical and electrical architecture. Here we present our solution, which involves the construction of sixteen aluminum modules and creation of the Super Servo, a modified hobby servo. To create the Super(More)
— Sidewinding is an efficient translation gait used by snakes and snake robots over flat ground, and resembles a helical tread moving over a core cylindrical geometry. Most sidewinding research has focused on straight-line translation of the snake, and less on steering capabilities. Here, we offer a new, geometrically intuitive method for steering this(More)
Limbless organisms such as snakes can navigate nearly all terrain. In particular, desert-dwelling sidewinder rattlesnakes (Crotalus cerastes) operate effectively on inclined granular media (such as sand dunes) that induce failure in field-tested limbless robots through slipping and pitching. Our laboratory experiments reveal that as granular incline angle(More)
— Sidewinding is an efficient translation gait used by snakes over flat ground. When implemented on snake robots, it retains its general effectiveness, but becomes unstable on sloped surfaces. Flattening the sidewinding motion along the surface to provide a more stable base corrects for this instability, but degrades other performance characteristics, such(More)
—Kinematic motion planning often requires a notion of " distance " between configurations. Euclidean distances on a parameter space are easy to compute, but can drastically distort the effort required to change configuration. Here, we present a framework for characterizing this distortion, based on principles adopted from the cartographic community, and a(More)