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Canid is a quadruped designed to test hypotheses regarding dynamic bounding using an actuated compliant spine mechanism.
Bounding and galloping quadrupeds are the fastest mammalian runners and a growing volume of robotics research has focused on this style of locomotion. In the Canid design, we explore the value of re-directing the power output of the motors driving the spine mechanism into actuated body compliances that amplify the force at the desired speed of locomotion according to overarching “spring assisted actuation”. We hypothesize that locomotion with a high-power actuated compliance located at the body core can offer significant speed and endurance benefits over quadrupeds without such actuated compliance.
By utilizing the modular components of actuation, computation, and sensing developed for the X-RHex robots, Canid has been rapidly prototyped using existing components, resulting in a faster design cycle and initial build. Canid replaces RHex’s two middle legs with a doubly actuated, compliant spine for the specific purpose of exciting high speed bounding gaits. With several different modes of motor excitation desired in the operation of Canid—executing open-loop trajectories akin to RHex gaits vs. operating with closed-loop torque sensing and control—the options available via the COTS motor controllers provide a great deal of benefit without much additional cost.
Laboratory on Legs: An Architecture for Adjustable Morphology with Legged Robots
G. C. Haynes, Jason Pusey, Ryan Knopf, Aaron M. Johnson, and D. E. Koditschek
Proceedings of the SPIE Defense, Security, and Sensing Conference, Unmanned Systems Technology XIV (8387), April 2012. Full PDF
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