Development of a novel robotic spider with hydraulic actuator legs based on the biological model and intuitive robotic operation – OHM-Krabbler

The “OHM-Krabbler” walking spider robot is to have six to eight legs and be able to transport measuring devices, cameras, or supplies into dangerous environments on uneven terrain that is no longer accessible with the tracked and wheeled vehicles in use today. 

Compared with previous developments in this field, the “OHM-Krabbler” offers two brand new concepts:

The first unprecedented concept is the robotic leg. Previous robots have generally been equipped with electrically powered legs (apart from a pneumatically powered system). The spider, on the other hand, pumps fluid into the legs, creating a pressure build-up and enabling the spider’s exoskeleton to move. The OHM-Krabbler’s legs are therefore constructed as bionic components with a hydraulic drive system. The physical constraints arising must also be investigated.

In this way, the OHM-Krabbler’s energy consumption should be lower than that of similar walking robots with electric drives, and other energy-efficient actuators, such as robotic grabbers, control elements, positioning devices, or similar can be derived from the developed hydraulic assemblies.

The second new concept is an especially simple user and programming interface in use. This communication interface will make it possible for personnel without technical training to ‘program’ the OHM-Krabbler in an emergency to enable it to be deployed effectively.

The OHM-Krabbler’s task in such a case could be, for example, to create up-to-date maps of a disaster zone or to analyze hazardous substances at the source of a disaster where it is not yet safe for humans to approach. The OHM-Krabbler therefore offers a contribution towards environmental technology, as its use will make it possible to take countermeasures at an early stage in a disaster to prevent an environmental disaster.