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Small Dog-Like Quadruped Robot Powered With McKibben Air MusclesPlanetary surface robotic exploration is typically done by wheeled robots, which are limited to traveling on relatively flat terrain. The goal of this project was to design a bio-inspired robot to mimic the movements and agility of animals to navigate in various types of natural terrain, such as found on Mars. My objective for the summer was to design and construct a quadruped robot with a locomotion gait similar to a small dog. The design includes four legs and an actuated flexible spine for added mobility and performance; each leg has three joints - hip, knee, and ankle. I created 3D CAD models and machined the pieces for the assemblies of each part. One of the key areas of concern is weight vs. power issues for the driving force of locomotion. To maximize the power-to-weight ratio, I used McKibben air muscles to drive the motion of the quadruped. The prototype went through several iterations to analyze performance, with adjustments made to each assembly. We expect the final working prototype will be capable of standing unassisted and pronking into the air without active control. It will serve as a research platform for future bio-inspired control algorithms.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Document Type
Conference Paper
Lacy, John M.
(Idaho Univ. ID, United States)
Date Acquired
August 23, 2013
Publication Date
August 1, 2005
Publication Information
Publication: Summer Student Research Presentations
Subject Category
Cybernetics, Artificial Intelligence And Robotics
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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