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Article
Publication date: 16 May 2016

Steve W. Heim, Mostafa Ajallooeian, Peter Eckert, Massimo Vespignani and Auke Jan Ijspeert

The purpose of this paper is to explore the possible roles of active tails for steady-state legged locomotion, focusing on a design principle which simplifies control by…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the possible roles of active tails for steady-state legged locomotion, focusing on a design principle which simplifies control by decoupling different control objectives.

Design/methodology/approach

A series of simple models are proposed which capture the dynamics of an idealized running system with an active tail. These models suggest that the overall control problem can be simplified and effectively decoupled via a proper tail design. This design principle is further explored in simulation using trajectory optimization. The results are then validated in hardware using a one degree-of-freedom active tail mounted on the quadruped robot Cheetah-Cub.

Findings

The results of this paper show that an active tail can greatly improve both forward velocity and reduce body-pitch per stride while adding minimal complexity. Further, the results validate the design principle of using long, light tails compared to shorter heavier ones.

Originality/value

This paper builds on previous results, with a new focus on steady-state locomotion and in particular deals directly with stance phase dynamics. A novel design principle for tails is proposed and validated.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 43 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2006

Rico Moeckel, Cyril Jaquier, Kevin Drapel, Elmar Dittrich, Andres Upegui and Auke Jan Ijspeert

This paper aims to present a novel modular robot that provides a flexible framework for exploring adaptive locomotion.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present a novel modular robot that provides a flexible framework for exploring adaptive locomotion.

Design/methodology/approach

A new modular robot is presented called YaMoR (for “Yet another Modular Robot”). Each YaMoR module contains an FPGA and a microcontroller supporting a wide range of control strategies and high computational power. The Bluetooth interface included in each YaMoR module allows wireless communication between the modules and controlling the robot from a PC. A control software called Bluemove was developed and implemented that allows easy testing of the capabilities for locomotion of a large variety of robot configurations.

Findings

With the help of the control software called Bluemove, different configurations of the YaMoR modules were tested like a wheel, caterpillar or configurations with limbs and their capabilities for locomotion.

Originality/value

This paper demonstrates that modular robots can act as a powerful framework for exploring locomotion of a large variety of different types of robots. Although present research is limited to exploring locomotion, YaMoR modules are designed to be general purpose and support a variety of applications.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 33 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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