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Design and Validation of a Whegs Robot in USARSim



B K. Taylor, Stephen B. Balakirsky, Elena R. Messina, R D. Quinn


Simulation of robots and other vehicles in a virtual domain has multiple benefits.  End users can use the simulation as a training tool to increase their familiarity and skill with the vehicle without risking damage to the robot, potential bystanders, or the surrounding environment.  Simulation allows researchers and developers to benchmark the robot s performance in a range of scenarios without needing to physically have the robot and or necessary environment(s) present.  Beyond benchmarking current designs, researchers and developers can use the information gathered in the simulation to guide and generate new design concepts.  USARSim (Urban Search and Rescue Simulation) is a high fidelity simulation tool that is being used to accomplish these goals within the realm of search and rescue.  It is built on top of the Unreal Tournament 2004 (UT2004) gaming engine, which handles the physics of the robot and how it interacts with the surrounding environment.  USARSim allows a user to virtually design a robot and then test its capabilities in a relatively quick, time-efficient manner.One particular family of robots that can benefit from simulation in the USARSim environment is the Whegs * series of robots developed in the Biologically Inspired Robotics Laboratory at Case Western Reserve University.  Whegs robots are highly mobile ground vehicles that use abstracted biological principles to achieve a robust level of terrestrial locomotion.  For example, many Whegs robots have torsionally compliant axles which allow the robot to passively adapt its gait to changing terrain.  Also, the robot s construction allows the vehicle to climb over obstacles that are greater than the wheel-leg radius.   (The rest in the paper.)
Proceedings Title
Proceedings of PerMIS | 2007 |
Conference Dates
August 28-30, 2007
Conference Location
Gaithersburg, MD, USA
Conference Title
Performance Metrics for Intelligent Systems (PerMIS) 2007


biologically inspired robotics, simulation, urban search and rescue, USARSim, whegs


Taylor, B. , Balakirsky, S. , Messina, E. and Quinn, R. (2008), Design and Validation of a Whegs Robot in USARSim, Proceedings of PerMIS | 2007 |, Gaithersburg, MD, USA, [online], (Accessed May 19, 2024)


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Created January 30, 2008, Updated October 12, 2021