Multi-Loop Rover: A Kind of Modular Rolling Robot Constructed by Multi-Loop Linkages

Yaobin Tian, Xianwen Kong, Kun Xu, Xilun Ding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
6 Downloads (Pure)


This paper proposes a new kind of modular rolling robot called multi-loop rover (MLR), which is essentially a multi-loop linkage that is able to roll and switch its rolling directions. For ease of rolling, the MLR retains a multi-loop topological structure composed of a number of strut and node modules. First, the modular design and assembling method are introduced to construct an MLR. Then, the mobility is analyzed based on screw theory, and a brief formula is presented to calculate the degree-of-freedoms of the robot. The results show that all node modules only have translational motions, which can significantly reduce the complexity of kinematics. The forward and inverse kinematics are conducted to show the deformation properties. Based on the kinematic rolling principle, the morphing strategies for rolling and turning functions are developed. Finally, a physical prototype is manufactured and a serial of experiments are carried out to verify the proposed method.
Original languageEnglish
Article number011012
JournalJournal of Mechanisms and Robotics
Issue number1
Early online date7 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • Bio-inspired design
  • Foldable mechanism
  • Kinematics
  • Mechanism design
  • Mobile robots
  • Modular robot
  • Multi-loop linkage
  • Robot design
  • Rolling locomotion
  • Spherical robot

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering


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