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Maneuverability and Heading Control of a Quadruped Robot Utilizing Tail Dynamics

[+] Author Affiliations
Wael Saab, Pinhas Ben-Tzvi

Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

Paper No. DSCC2017-5337, pp. V002T21A010; 7 pages
  • ASME 2017 Dynamic Systems and Control Conference
  • Volume 2: Mechatronics; Estimation and Identification; Uncertain Systems and Robustness; Path Planning and Motion Control; Tracking Control Systems; Multi-Agent and Networked Systems; Manufacturing; Intelligent Transportation and Vehicles; Sensors and Actuators; Diagnostics and Detection; Unmanned, Ground and Surface Robotics; Motion and Vibration Control Applications
  • Tysons, Virginia, USA, October 11–13, 2017
  • Conference Sponsors: Dynamic Systems and Control Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5828-8
  • Copyright © 2017 by ASME


This paper presents modeling and analysis of a quadruped robot that utilizes tail dynamics to control its heading angle. The tail is envisioned to assist locomotion as a means separate from its legs to generate forces and moments to improve performance in terms maneuverability. Tail motion is analyzed for both low and high-speed tail actuation to derive sufficient conditions to maintain equilibrium and formulate maneuverability relations that result in rotation and translation of the robotic system. Sensitivity analysis is presented to select optimal tail mass and length ratios to maximize the change of the heading angle. A heading controller is then proposed and simulated to achieve a desired heading angle utilizing tail dynamics. Results of this research will assist in the design, modeling, and analysis of robotic systems sharing similar topologies to the proposed model, such as mobile robots with wheeled, tracked, multi-legged, or articulated-body based locomotion with swinging extremities such as tails, torsos, and limbs.

Copyright © 2017 by ASME



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