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Brief Literature Review

Early research efforts in legged locomotion focused on statically stable gaits in which robot’s centre of gravity is always kept over the polygon formed by the supporting feet [1]. Raibert, around 1985, set the stage with his ground-breaking work on dynamic legged locomotion [2], which resulted in one of the most advanced quadrupeds, Boston Dynamics’ BigDog that can control its forward speed, and although it moves with static stable gaits, it can achieve a dynamically balanced trot gait when moving at human walking speeds [3]. Boston Dynamics’ statically stable LittleDog, is a quadruped walking robot with 12 degrees of freedom, used as an algorithm test bed. A different design and control approach is followed in Scout II [4] and in the NTUA Quadruped Robot [5, 6], which use only one actuator and a spring per leg to realise dynamically stable running with speed control. While the Scout requires a time-consuming trial-and-error controller parameter determination to achieve a given speed, the NTUA quadruped control algorithm does not need empirical gain tuning. Quadruped robots like Kotetsu [7] that employ Central Pattern Generator (CPG) based controllers and KOLT [8] that uses a fuzzy controller are different approaches towards achieving dynamic stable gaits. Recent research efforts by the Autonomous System Lab at ETH [9] and the Advanced Robotics Department at IIT [10] are aiming at making a step forward from LittleDog and BigDog respectively. Generally, the tendency for the new robotic quadrupeds is to aim for very fast, rapidly accelerated, able to make tight turns robots with flexible spine, articulated legs, possibly including head and tail, such as the Boston Dynamics’ Cheetah concept.

 
 


References

[1].     S. Hirose et al., “Titan III: a quadruped walking vehicle,” Int. Symp. Robotics Research, Tokyo, 1985.

[2].     M. H. Raibert, Legged Robots that Balance. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1986.

[3].   I. Poulakakis et al., “On the Stability of the Passive Dynamics of Quadrupedal Running with a Bounding Gait,” The Int. Journal of Robotics Research, vol. 25, no. 7, pp. 669-687, Jul. 2006.

[4].   P. Chatzakos and E. Papadopoulos, “Bio-inspired design of electrically-driven bounding quadrupeds via parametric analysis,” Mechanism and MachineTheory, vol. 44, is. 3, pp. 559-579, Mar. 2009.

[5].   P. Chatzakos and E. Papadopoulos, “Bio-inspired design of electrically-driven bounding quadrupeds via parametric analysis,” Mechanism and MachineTheory, vol. 44, is. 3, pp. 559-579, Mar. 2009.

[6].  N. Cherouvim and E. Papadopoulos, “Novel Energy Transfer Mechanism in a Running Quadruped Robot with One Actuator per Leg,” Advanced Robotics, vol. 24, no. 7, pp. 963-978, 2010.

[7].  C. Maufroy et al., “Stable Dynamic Walking of a Quadruped Robot “Kotetsu” Using Phase Modulations Based on Leg Loading/Unloading,” Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. on Robotics & Automation, Anchorage, Alaska, USA, 2010.

[8].     J. G. Nichol et al., “System Design of a Quadrupedal Galloping Machine,” The Int. Journal of Robotics Research, vol. 23, no. 10-11, pp. 1013-1027, Oct 2004

[9].  C. D. Remy et al., “Walking and Crawling with ALoF-A Robot for Autonomous Locomotion on Four Legs,” Proc. Int. Conf. on Climbing & Walking Robots & the Support Technologies for Mobile Machines, Nagoya, 2010.

[10]. C. D. Remy et al., “Walking and Crawling with ALoF-A Robot for Autonomous Locomotion on Four Legs,” Proc. Int. Conf. on Climbing & Walking Robots & the Support Technologies for Mobile Machines, Nagoya, 2010.

 
 


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