The invention presents devices and methods for bipedal locomotion in robots.The incorporation of passive dynamics and active force control in robots delivers value in the form of more efficient energy use and increased agility and robustness, especially in handling variability in surface terrain. In particular, the devices and methods presented in the invention incorporate a control strategy specific to spring-legged locomotion that improves robustness to disturbances and optimizes energy economy. Springs possess the ability to store and release energy, and as such reduce energy loss and improve force control by absorbing impulsive forces and improving robustness to shock loads.
The strategies presented in the invention propose a self-stable robot, unreliant on an accurate ground model, yet able to traverse over varying ground compositions and elevations. The technology overcomes significant barriers in the ability of robots to replicate the motion of animals, including manual human work, diversifying the applications and roles of dynamic robotic systems in society.
Features & Benefits
Background of Invention
Unlike moving animals, current robots do not maintain sufficient energy efficiency and robustness to (ground) disturbances. Current energy efficient passive walkers fail to handle minor disturbances in walking surface, whereas robotic solutions incorporating active control are robust to disturbances, yet inadequate in energy consumption. This technology addresses this problem with optimal performance in both respects, similar to animals (and us humans) which utilize passive dynamics with active force control. In general, this technology improves the physical function and efficiency of current dynamic robotic systems, and in doing so reduces energy cost, improves performance, and expands the range of their application, and in doing so provides valuable opportunity.
Patent No. US 8,914,151