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Haldun Komsuoglu

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RHex: A Biologically Inspired Hexapod Runner

Autonomous Robots, 2001

Altendorfer, R.* and Moore, N.† and Komsuoglu, H.* and Buehler, M.† and Brown Jr., H. B.‡ and McMordie, D.† and Saranli, U.* and Full, R.** and Koditschek, D. E.*
*: Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Michigan
†:Ambulatory Robotics Laboratory, Department of Mechanical Engineering, McGill University, Montreal
‡:The Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University
**: Department of Integrative Biology, University of California at Berkeley
Full PDF | Web Link

Abstract
RHex is an untethered, compliant leg hexapod robot that travels at better than one body length per second over terrain few other robots can negotiate at all. Inspired by biomechanics insights into arthropod locomotion, RHex uses a clock excited alternating tripod gait to walk and run in a highly maneuverable and robust manner. We present empirical data establishing that RHex exhibits a dynamical (“bouncing”) gait—its mass center moves in a manner well approximated by trajectories from a Spring Loaded Inverted Pendulum (SLIP)—characteristic of a large and diverse group of running animals, when its central clock, body mass, and leg stiffnesses are appropriately tuned. The SLIP template can function as a useful control guide in developing more complex autonomous locomotion behaviors such as registration via visual servoing, local exploration via visual odometry, obstacle avoidance, and, eventually, global mapping and localization.
BibTeX entry
@article{Altendorfer-Moore-Komsuoglu.AR2001,
  author = {Altendorfer, R. and Moore, N. and Komsuoglu, H. and Buehler, M. and
	Brown Jr., H. B. and McMordie, D. and Saranli, U. and Full, R. and
	Koditschek, D. E.},
  title = {RHex: A Biologically Inspired Hexapod Runner},
  journal = {Autonomous Robots},
  year = {2001},
  volume = {11},
  pages = {207-213},
  number = {3}
}

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