Walking Machine Control Programming
Final technical rept. 1 Feb 1982-31 Aug 1983
SUTHERLAND SPROULL AND ASSOCIATES INC PITTSBURGH PA
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The objective of this investigation was to evaluate a 1600-pound, six-legged, gasoline-powered, self-contained, man-carrying, hydraulically- actuated, walking machine built by Sutherland, Sproull and Associates. We were interested in the task of programming the control computer, the problems of operator control, and the performance of the vehicle. The walking machine presents two technical problems. The first is how best to permit the operator to control it. A control stick and two foot pedals provide operator inputs, and we connected them in various ways to give the driver control of the machines path, direction, and speed. In addition, we experimented with different algorithms to select the particular uses of particular legs. The second technical problem posed by the walking machine comes about because of the topology of the hydraulic circuits that actuate it. Rather than using a separate servomechanism for each joint, the hydraulic circuits of this machine permit actuators from several of its joints to be made a part of a single hydraulic circuit. Parallel connections of actuators permit leg to share load equally series connections force them to move synchronously. By setting valves to establish series and parallel hydraulic circuits, the control computer can obtain coordinated joint motions without further direct action. We learned a great deal about the strengths and weaknesses of this approach to leg coordination.
- Computer Programming and Software
- Human Factors Engineering and Man Machine Systems