A Minimally Actuated Reconfigurable Continuous Track Robot

Tal Kislassi, David Zarrouk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


This letter presents a minimally actuated Reconfigurable Continuous Track Robot (RCTR). The RCTR can change its geometry while advancing, thus enabling it to crawl and climb over different terrains and obstacles. The robot is fitted with a regular propulsion motor similar to a regular track and has a locking mechanism located at the front. The links have a unique design which allows them to be left loose to rotate between negative 20 to positive 45 degrees or be locked at zero or positive 20 degrees relative to each other as they reach the front of the robot. A release mechanism, located at the back, passively unlocks the links. As a result, all the links in the lower part are locked whereas the top links are unlocked. We first present the design of the robot and its mechanisms. Then, we model the kinematics and simulate the different shapes and obstacles that the robot can overcome. Finally, we present multiple experiments showing how this new robot can successfully navigate different obstacles (see video).

Original languageEnglish
Article number8930917
Pages (from-to)652-659
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Robotics and Automation Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2020


  • Crawling robot
  • mechanical design
  • reconfigurable robot
  • rolling motion


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