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  • Book
    Paul J. Csonka.
    Digital2012
    Over the last several years advances and miniaturization of technology have allowed legged robots to move from the research laboratory to the real world, as evidenced by the large number of flexible platforms only recently available. These platforms are successful, but fall short of capitalizing on the biggest advantage of legs: the ability for high speed locomotion over unstructured terrain. Additionally, no current articulated legged robot is able to perform both static and truly dynamic locomotion, as the actuation technology is not conducive to these two very different regimes of operation. Currently, machines that are dynamic are unable to walk or position themselves accurately, and machines that function very well with static motions are unable to move dynamically. The bipedal robot TRIP (Tendonized Running Inspired Platform) was built to study dynamic maneuvering and control of an articulated legged robot with high-inertia legs. Each leg includes an inelastic tendon which couples ankle joint rotations to knee joint rotations, resulting in simplified effective dynamics and control, and a high degree of passive stabilization with dynamic maneuvers. A hybrid pneumatic-electric actuator was built and tested while driving a knee joint; this actuator is capable of precise positioning, as well as highly energetic thrusting. It will be shown that static and dynamic maneuvers are attainable with a tendon-coupled ankle, and that a tendon allows simpler dynamic control through the concept of impulse compensation, and through the use of passive stabilization from the kinematics resulting from the tendon. Second, it will be shown that the hybrid actuator is superior in some respects to current available technology, both by specification, and by experimental results of static and dynamic maneuvers achieved through its use. And third, using a general heuristic-based control algorithm developed for various sized bipedal machines, dynamic maneuvers are possible with a high leg-to-body moment of inertia ratio, which would show that the control strategy takes into account the dynamics of the legs during high speed locomotion.