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Galen Clark Haynes

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Rapid Pole Climbing with a Quadrupedal Robot

IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, May 2009

G. C. Haynes*, Alex Khripin†, Goran Lynch*, Jon Amory†, Aaron Saunders†, Alfred A. Rizzi†, and D. E. Koditschek*
*: Electrical and Systems Engineering, University of Pennsylvania
†: Boston Dynamics, Inc.

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This paper describes the development of a legged robot designed for general locomotion of complex terrain but specialized for dynamical, high-speed climbing of a uniformly convex cylindrical structure, such as an outdoor telephone pole. This robot, the RiSE V3 climbing machine—mass 5.4 kg, length 70 cm, excluding a 28 cm tail appendage—includes several novel mechanical features, including novel linkage designs for its legs and a non-backdrivable, energy-dense power transmission to enable high-speed climbing. We summarize the robot’s design and document a climbing behavior that achieves rapid ascent of a wooden telephone pole at 21 cm/s, a speed previously unachieved—and, we believe, heretofore impossible—with a robot of this scale. The behavioral gait of the robot employs the mechanical design to propel the body forward while passively maintaining yaw, pitch, and roll stability during climbing locomotion. The robot’s general-purpose legged design coupled with its specialized ability to quickly gain elevation and park at a vertical station silently with minimal energy consumption suggest potential applications including search and surveillance operations as well as ad hoc networking.
BibTeX entry
  author = {G. C. Haynes and Alex Khripin and Goran Lynch and Jon Amory
            and Aaron Saunders and Alfred A. Rizzi and D. E. Koditschek},
  title = {Rapid Pole Climbing with a Quadrupedal Robot},
  booktitle = {Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation},
  year = {2009},
Related Sites
RiSE V3 - the robot platform used in this paper
Boston Dynamics, Inc. - collaborators on this research.
ICRA 2009 - conference website

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