Algorithmic Design for Dynamic Robots

Dynamic robots are machines that can manage the kinetic and potential energy of their bodies and environments. These robots have the ability to manipulate objects using fewer moving parts compared to quasi-static robots, allowing them to access and navigate challenging environments. Compliance, which refers to the ability to adapt to external forces, is a crucial aspect in both static and dynamic robot operations. It enhances the robot’s stability and energy efficiency compared to rigid designs. However, incorporating compliance in traditional robots can be expensive to integrate in terms of material budget and design cost.

To address these challenges, we propose the use of origami robots, which are robots created by folding flat sheets of material. By employing this fabrication and assembly process, we can rapidly construct intricate three-dimensional objects, including robots, with the ability to exhibit dynamic behavior. Moreover, the use of multilayered materials allows us to introduce regional stiffness and integrate circuits into the robot structure. Folded modules serve as joints or provide near-rigid support to the robot’s thin shell structure. In our research, we present and analyze an algorithmic pipeline that enables the construction of complete robots. These robots consist of rigid links and compliant joints, all made possible through origami fabrication techniques.

Contributors

J. Diego Caporale, Wei-Hsi Chen, Yuchong Gao, Dan E. Koditschek, Young-Joo Lee, Shivanngi Misra, Lucien Peach, Cynthia R. Sung, Woohyeok Yang

Publications

  • W. Yang, L. Peach, D. E. Koditschek, and C. R. Sung, “Kinegami: Algorithmic Design of Compliant Kinematic Chains From Tubular Origami,” IEEE Transactions on Robotics, 2022.
  • Y.- J. Lee, S. Misra, W.-H. Chen, D. E. Koditschek, C. Sung, and S. Yang, “Tendon‚ÄźDriven Auxetic Tubular Springs for Resilient Hopping Robots,” Advanced Intelligent Systems, 2021, 2100152.
  • W.-H. Chen, S. Misra, Y. Gao, Y.-J. Lee, D. E. Koditschek, S. Yang and C. Sung, “A Programmably Compliant Origami Mechanism for Dynamically Dexterous Robots,” IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, Jan. 2020.
  • W.-H. Chen, S. Misra, J. D. Caporale, D. E. Koditschek, S. Yang and C. Sung, “A Tendon-Driven Origami Hopper Triggered by Proprioceptive Contact Detection,” in 2019 3nd IEEE International Conference on Soft Robotics (RoboSoft), Apr. 2020.

Sponsors

  • W911NF1810327 under the SLICE Multidisciplinary University Research Initiatives (MURI) Program held by Dan E. Koditschek.
  • Grant 1845339 under National Science Foundation held by Cynthia R. Sung.