Dynamically Stable Legged Locomotion
Rept. for 1 Dec 1980-30 Sep 1981
CARNEGIE-MELLON UNIV PITTSBURGH PA ROBOTICS INST
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Though vehicles that use legs for locomotion promise superior mobility and versatility, very little is known about their design and control. Balance, resonance, and dynamic control are key issues underlying high performance legged systems, both man-made and biological, yet understanding in these areas is particularly lacking. We focus attention on these important problems by studying hopping systems that have only one leg. A one-legged system must hop to locomote, must balance to hop, and must be dynamically controlled at all times to balance. An ideal one-legged planar hopping machine is presented with its equations of motion. Control is decomposed into a vertical hopping part and a horizontal balance part. A total vertical energy measure is used to control uniformity of hopping height when there are mechanical losses and irregular terrains. Balance and control of horizontal translation are explored through implementation of three controllers a linear feedback controller, a stance controller, and a new table look-up controller. The design and operation of a physical planar hopping machine is discussed, along with preliminary experimental results for vertical control. Three new designs for experimental vehicles that operate in 3-space are presented. Two are mechanically simple designs with functional symmetry the third is preliminary concept for a multi- legged balancing vehicle that is optimized for forward motion.
- Surface Transportation and Equipment