Robot from Beijing Institute of Technology has an artificial 'tail' that predicts uncertainty and automatically adjusts to control balance.

Benefits

  • Stable
  • Robust

Applications

  • Autonomous vehicles

UN Sustainable Development Goals Addressed

  • Goal 9: Industry Innovation & Infrastructure

The Challenge

Robots are designed to navigate on their own, but when encountering rough terrain, they may lose balance and fall over. Unfortunately, if a robot tumbles over, it may be difficult to recover because it doesn’t have arms or other limbs to assist it in standing back up.

Innovation Details

The self-balancing robot is made of two wheels, a main body, and a tail component. The tail is controlled by an adaptive hierarchical sliding mode controller, which predicts uncertainty in dynamic and changing environments and adjusts accordingly. To adjust, the tail rotates in different directions, parallel to the robot’s wheels, to help the robot keep its balance.

Biomimicry Story

Animals with non-prehensile tails use this extra limb to enhance balance while moving through the environment. These animals use their tail as a counterweight, when their body moves in one direction, the tail moves in another to balance out.