Coupled Oscillator Control of a Dynamic Four-Legged Robot.
Annual rept. 15 Jan-15 Aug 95,
BOSTON UNIV MA DEPT OF AEROSPACE ENGINEERING
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This report documents progress on a dynamic four-legged robot. After the first seven months of support, we have accomplished the following 1 We have shown analytically that a platform supported by four springy legs and actuated according to a specific reflex function will tend toward motions corresponding to four-legged animal gaits, specifically, the pronk, bound, pace, and rotary gallop. This should greatly simplify legged robot control since the implication is that it is not necessary to pre-program desired behavior such as leg sequences for different gaits. We believe this may also help explain why running animals have chosen particular gaits. 2 We have designed and constructed a leg for our quadrupedal robot which utilizes elastic energy storage to provide most of the force for vertical oscillations. This leg is biologically-styled in that elastic tendons drive a rotating foot. Preliminary experimental results have been favorable, and with minor mechanical improvements, we expect to have the leg hopping. Our design was inspired by four-legged animal legs and will give us the opportunity to compare a man-made and biological system at a fairly good level of detail.