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Optimization of Coupling Ratio and Kinematics of an Underactuated Robot Leg for Passive Terrain Adaptability

[+] Author Affiliations
Oren Y. Kanner, Aaron M. Dollar

Yale University, New Haven, CT

Paper No. DETC2012-70741, pp. 1051-1058; 8 pages
  • ASME 2012 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 4: 36th Mechanisms and Robotics Conference, Parts A and B
  • Chicago, Illinois, USA, August 12–15, 2012
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4503-5
  • Copyright © 2012 by ASME


This paper investigates how the passive adaptability of an underactuated robot leg to uneven terrain is affected by variations in design parameters. In particular, the ratio between the joint torques, the ratio between the link lengths, and the initial joint rest angles are varied to determine configurations that allow for maximum terrain roughness adaptability while minimizing the transmission of disturbance forces to the body. The results show that a proximal/distal joint torque coupling ratio of 1.58, proximal/distal leg length ratio of 0.5, and an initial proximal joint angle of −49 degrees maximize the terrain variability over which the robot can remain stable by exerting a near-constant vertical reaction force while minimizing lateral force and moment disturbances. In addition, the spring stiffness ratio allows for a tradeoff to be made between the different performance metrics.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME



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