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Design of a Multi-Directional Variable Stiffness Leg for Dynamic Running

[+] Author Affiliations
Kevin C. Galloway, Daniel E. Koditschek

University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

Jonathan E. Clark

Florida A&M - Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL

Paper No. IMECE2007-41318, pp. 73-80; 8 pages
doi:10.1115/IMECE2007-41318
From:
  • ASME 2007 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 10: Mechanics of Solids and Structures, Parts A and B
  • Seattle, Washington, USA, November 11–15, 2007
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4304-1 | eISBN: 0-7918-3812-9
  • Copyright © 2007 by ASME

abstract

Recent developments in dynamic legged locomotion have focused on encoding a substantial component of leg intelligence into passive compliant mechanisms. One of the limitations of this approach is reduced adaptability: the final leg mechanism usually performs optimally for a small range of conditions (i.e. a certain robot weight, terrain, speed, gait, and so forth). For many situations in which a small locomotion system experiences a change in any of these conditions, it is desirable to have a variable stiffness leg to tune the natural frequency of the system for effective gait control. In this paper, we present an overview of variable stiffness leg spring designs, and introduce a new approach specifically for autonomous dynamic legged locomotion. We introduce a simple leg model that captures the spatial compliance of the tunable leg in three dimensions. Lastly, we present the design and manufacture of the multi-directional variable stiffness legs, and experimentally validate their correspondence to the proposed model.

Copyright © 2007 by ASME
Topics: Design , Stiffness

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