Quadrupedal bounding with an actuated spinal joint
Proceedings - IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation
1392 - 1397
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Most legged vertebrates use flexible spines and supporting muscles to provide auxiliary power and dexterity for dynamic behaviors, resulting in higher speeds and additional maneuverability during locomotion. However, most existing legged robots capable of dynamic locomotion incorporate only a single rigid trunk with actuation limited to legs and associated joints. In this paper, we investigate how quadrupedal bounding can be achieved in the presence of an actuated spinal joint and characterize associated performance improvements compared to bounding with a rigid robot body. In the context of both a new controller structure for bounding with a body joint and existing bounding controllers for the rigid trunk, we use optimization methods to identify the highest performance gait parameters and establish that the spinal joint allows increased forward speeds and hopping heights. © 2011 IEEE.