Natural Dynamics and the Role of Gaits in Legged Robots
This talk highlights how motion induced through the interaction of inertia, gravity, and elastic oscillations can be utilized to improve the performance of legged robots. Different "gaits', (i.e., different modes in which these natural dynamics are used) help to increase energetic economy and locomotion speed. They are defined mathematically as optimal periodic motions and synthesized and analyzed for two types of conceptual models: for stiff-legged passive dynamic walkers and for actuated running robots with high compliance series elastic actuation. In this context, we also investigate the implications of different cost functions and look at parametrical and morphological adaptations. By drawing parallels to gait-selection in nature and by a brief overview of our quadrupedal hardware developments, these theoretical results are put into perspective with respect to locomotion in nature and robotics.
An extended overview of our full research and the quadruped robots StarlETH and ALoF can be accessed at http://leggedrobotics.ethz.ch
C. David Remy is Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Michigan. He holds a Masters in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, a Diploma in Engineering Cybernetics from the University of Stuttgart, and a Doctor of Science (PhD) from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich.
David Remy's research interests include the design, simulation, and control of legged and other nonlinear systems. Drawing inspiration from biology and biomechanics, he's particularly interested in the effect and exploitation of natural dynamic motions, the role of different gaits, and the possibility of force/torque controllable systems; both in conceptual models and in hardware realization.