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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A three-axis force platform design for cockroach incline climbing analysis

  • Author(s): Qin, Qin
  • Advisor(s): Gravish, Nicholas
  • et al.

Insects like cockroach run and climb with great speed and adaptability compared to their sizes. Researchers have been studying on the kinematic of insect for a long time and many climbing robots have been designed using cockroach as prototype, but no one has comparable performance with cockroach. The study of single leg ground reaction force exerted by incline-climbing cockroach gives valuable intuition to design the locomotion of climbing robots. To better study the kinematic and locomotion of cockroach incline climbing, a three-axis force platform has been designed and fabricated. The force platform consists of a force plate made with a handmade mechanical structure and a carbon fiber surface. The force plate has four force measurement channels including two vertical channels, medio-lateral channel and fore-aft channel with typical sensitivities of 3.46 V/N, 2.11 V/N, 4.42 V/N and 5.76 V/N. The natural frequency of the force platform is around 200 Hz. The compatible apparatus setup including running trackway, strain-gauge tree, tilting device has also been introduced. This paper presents detailed design and fabrication with calibration procedure and performance test, and the result of the test experiment shows that this force platform meets the requirements of studying large insects biomechanics.

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