A motion planning strategy for a spherical rolling robot driven by two internal rotors

Akihiro Morinaga, Mikhail Svinin, Motoji Yamamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


This paper deals with a motion planning problem for a spherical rolling robot actuated by two internal rotors that are placed on orthogonal axes. The key feature of the problem is that it can be stated only in dynamic formulation. In addition, the problem features a singularity when the contact trajectory goes along the equatorial line in the plane of the two rotors. A motion planning strategy composed of two trivial and one nontrivial maneuver is devised. The trivial maneuvers implement motion along the geodesic line perpendicular to the singularity line. The construction of the nontrivial maneuver employs the nilpotent approximation of the originally nonnilpotent robot dynamics, and is based on an iterative steering algorithm. At each iteration, the control inputs are constructed with the use of geometric phases. The motion planning strategy thus constructed is verified under simulation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6766197
Pages (from-to)993-1002
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Robotics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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