TerminatorBot: A novel robot with dual-use mechanism for locomotion and manipulation

Richard M. Voyles, Amy C. Larson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


As part of a massively distributed heterogeneous system, TerminatorBot, a novel, centimeter-scale crawling robot, has been developed to address applications in surveillance, search-and-rescue, and planetary exploration. Its two three-degree-of-freedom arms, which stow inside the cylindrical body for ballistic deployment and protected transport, comprise a dual-use mechanism for manipulation and locomotion. The intended applications require a small, rugged, and lightweight robot, hence, the desire for dual use. TerminatorBot's unique mechanism provides mobility and fine manipulation on a scale currently unavailable. To facilitate manipulation, we have also developed a specialized force/torque sensor. This new sensor design has a biased distribution of flexures, which equalizes force and torque sensitivities at the operational point. This paper describes the mechanism and design of TerminatorBot, the specialized force/torque sensor, and the mechanism-specific gaits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-25
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Manuscript received February 27, 2003; revised October 8, 2003. This work was supported in part by the DARPA Distributed Robotics program under Contract MDA972-98-C-0008 and in part by the University of Minnesota under the L. T. Dosdall Fellowship.


  • Force sensor
  • Mobile manipulation
  • Robotics
  • TerminatorBot


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