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A Principled Approach to the Bio-inspired Design of Legged Locomotion Systems

Proceedings of the SPIE Defense and Security Symposium, Unmanned Ground Vehicle Technology VI (OR54), 2004

D. E. Koditschek*, R. J. Full†, M. Buehler‡
*: Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Michigan
†: Department of Integrative Biology, UC Berkeley
‡: Boston Dynamics

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Abstract
      Casual daily observation provides convincing evidence that animals offer a wealth of inspiration for legged machines. However the lessons of animal motor science are largely written in the grammar of materials properties, and their meaning hidden by the complex interaction of multiply layered functional hierarchies. This paper will review some of the lessons of biological running that we have been able to articulate and begin to prescribe rigorously as manifest in the hexapod robot RHex. Although there is a long way to go before our mathematical analysis catches up with the full range of behaviors this remarkable machine exhibits, we are nevertheless able to make increasingly precise statements about certain control principles and the role they may play in RHex’s performance. This ongoing research effort serves as a test case to underscore the huge and still largely untapped potential for mining bioinspiration in legged locomotion systems.
BibTeX Entry
@INPROCEEDINGS{2004SPIE.5422...86K,
   author = {{Koditschek}, D.~E. and {Full}, R.~J. and {Buehler}, M.},
    title = "{A principled approach to bio-inspired design of legged locomotion systems}",
   booktitle = {Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) Conference Series},
     year = 2004,
   series = {Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) Conference Series},
   volume = 5422,
   editor = "{G.~R.~Gerhart, C.~M.~Shoemaker, \& D.~W.~Gage}",
    month = sep,
    pages = {86-100},
      doi = {10.1117/12.544118},
   adsurl = {http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2004SPIE.5422...86K},
  adsnote = {Provided by the SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System}
 } 

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