Publiée le 06/04/11 à 17h00

Licence Creative Commons CC-By

Animals in nature use dynamic gait to achieve fast locomotion on rough terrains. During the dynamic gait, legs make an impact on the ground when the legs touch the ground. The impact force generates a ballistic flight state: the state when all feet leave the ground. Several researches on adopting the dynamic gaits to robotic platforms have been studied; for instance, legged robots by Raibert et al., SCOUT2, and PAW. Most of the robots use pneumatic actuators to achieve the powerful impact on the ground; however, the robots have limitations of relatively large size and huge noise from the pneumatic actuators.
Objective of the research is to develop a light-weight hopping leg for the dynamic gait by using electric motors with crank-slider mechanism. Instead of using pneumatic actuators, we used an electric motor to generate the powerful impact on the ground for high hopping. A crank-slider mechanism transforms continuous rotating actuation of the electric motor to repeated linear actuation in hopping direction. A linear spring at the end of the hopping leg performs storing and releasing potential energy. The rest of the paper explains principles and experiments on the research.