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The purpose of this text is to describe the design and testing of an active tether capable of assisting a search and rescue robot. In order to communicate with the robot in a search and rescue environment a tether is a viable option to transmit power, control, and even life support for victims to the robot. However, applying the tether in this environment opens the robot to new obstacles involving this support. The tether is capable of snagging itself on multiple contact points in the search and rescue zone that can ultimately hinder the robot from moving further. The goal of this project is to develop an addition to this tether to avoid these issues.
A biologically inspired design was chose for this purpose that mimics the cilia found on microorganisms and in the human esophagus. The theory behind this is that by surrounding the tether in multiple cilia the tether will be pushed away from any corner that could cause a snag. The development of a cilia design outlines in this paper provides inspiration for further research, but does not generate a viable solution to the stated problem.
Barta, Eric; Kruzel, Chris; McIntire, Mason; and Wille, Laura, "Development of an Active Tether" (2003). Engineering Senior Design Reports. 5.