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Design Principles for a Family of Direct-drive Legged Robots

IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, Feb, 2016.

Gavin Kenneally
Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, University of Pennsylvania
Avik De and D. E. Koditschek
Electrical and Systems Engineering, University of Pennsylvania
IEEE| Penn ScholarlyCommons

       This paper introduces Minitaur, a dynamically running and leaping quadruped, which represents a novel class of direct-drive (DD) legged robots. We present a methodology that achieves the well known benefits of DD robot design (transparency, mechanical robustness / efficiency, high actuation bandwidth, increased specific power), affording highly energetic behaviors across our family of machines despite severe limitations in specific force. We quantify DD drivetrain benefits using a variety of metrics, compare our machines’ performance to previously reported legged platforms, and speculate on the potential broadreaching value of “transparency” for legged locomotion.
BibTeX entry
author={G. Kenneally and A. De and D. Koditschek}, 
journal={IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters}, 
title={Design Principles for a Family of Direct-Drive Legged Robots}, 
keywords={Actuators;Couplings;Force;Kinematics;Legged locomotion;Torque;Mechanism Design of Mobile Robots;Multilegged Robots;Novel Actuators for Natural Machine Motion}, 
Acknowledgements This work was supported in part by the ARL/GDRS RCTA project, Coop. Agreement W911NF-1020016 and in part by NSERC (326008481).

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