DOI: 10.3390/biomimetics9020068 ISSN: 2313-7673

A Bionic Walking Wheel for Enhanced Trafficability in Paddy Fields with Muddy Soil

Duo Chen, Yan Xu, Yuqiu Song, Mingjin Xin, Liyan Wu, Aiju Kong, Huan Wang, Pengchao Dai, Hongpeng Yu
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomaterials
  • Bioengineering
  • Biotechnology

To improve wheel trafficability in soft and muddy soils such as paddy fields, a bionic walking wheel is designed based on the structural morphology and movement mode of the feet of waders living in marshes and mudflats, similar to the muddy soil of paddy fields. The bionic walking wheel adopts the arrangement of double-row wheel legs and staggered arrays to imitate the walking posture of waders. The two legs move alternately, cooperate with each other, and improve the smoothness of movement. The cam inside the bionic walking wheel is used to control the movement mode of the feet. The flippers open before touching the ground to increase the contact area and reduce sinking, and the toes bend and grip the ground while touching the ground to increase traction. Multi-rigid-body dynamics software (Adams View 2020) is used to simulate the movement of the wheel during the wading process, and the movement coordination and interference between the wheel legs are analyzed. The simulation results show that there is no interference between the parts and that the movement smoothness is good. The interaction between the bionic walking wheel and muddy soil was analyzed via coupled EDEM–ADAMS simulation, and the simulation analysis and experiments were conducted and compared with those for a common paddy wheel. The results showed that the bionic walking wheel designed in this paper improved the drawbar pull by 113.56% compared with that of a common paddy wheel and had better anti-sinking performance. By analyzing the effect of toe grip on traction, it was found that the soil under the feet can be disturbed to provide greater traction when the toe is bent downward. This study provides a reference for improving the trafficability of walking mechanisms in soft and muddy soils, such as paddy fields.

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