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Chapter 17 — Limbed Systems

Shuuji Kajita and Christian Ott

A limbed system is a mobile robot with a body, legs and arms. First, its general design process is discussed in Sect. 17.1. Then we consider issues of conceptual design and observe designs of various existing robots in Sect. 17.2. As an example in detail, the design of a humanoid robot HRP-4C is shown in Sect. 17.3. To design a limbed system of good performance, it is important to take into account of actuation and control, like gravity compensation, limit cycle dynamics, template models, and backdrivable actuation. These are discussed in Sect. 17.4.

In Sect. 17.5, we overview divergence of limbed systems. We see odd legged walkers, leg–wheel hybrid robots, leg–arm hybrid robots, tethered walking robots, and wall-climbing robots. To compare limbed systems of different configurations,we can use performance indices such as the gait sensitivity norm, the Froude number, and the specific resistance, etc., which are introduced in Sect. 17.6.

Linear inverted pendulum mode

Author  Shuuji Kajita

Video ID : 512

Demonstration of the linear inverted pendulum mode (LIPM) and its application for biped walking control. This biped robot with parallel link legs was developed by Dr. Kajita and Dr. Tani.

Hexapod robot Ambler

Author  William (Red) L. Whittaker

Video ID : 517

A hexapod walking robot developed by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University.

Hexapod ParaWalker-II

Author  Yusuke Ota

Video ID : 520

A twin-frame walking robot, which is a reduced-DOF practical walking robot, developed by Dr. Ota and Prof. Hirose.

Cockroach-like hexapod

Author  Roger D. Quinn

Video ID : 521

A biologically inspired insect-like hexapod developed by Dr. Nelson, Dr. Bachmann, Dr. Quinn, Dr. Watson and Dr. Ritzmann.

Bipedal humanoid robot: WABIAN

Author  Atsuo Takanishi

Video ID : 522

A human-sized bipedal humanoid robot developed by Prof. Hashimoto, Dr. Narita, Dr. Kobayashi, Prof. Takanishi, Dr. Yamaguchi, Prof. Dario, and Dr. Takanobu.

Cybernetic human HRP-4C walking

Author  AIST

Video ID : 524

A humanoid robot with human-like dimensions developed by AIST.

Cybernetic human HRP-4C quick turn

Author  AIST

Video ID : 525

Quick slip-turn of an HRP-4C on its toes developed by Dr. Miura, Dr. Kanehiro, Dr. Kaneko, Dr. Kajita, and Dr. Yokoi.

Development of the humanoid robot DARwIn

Author  Dennis Hong

Video ID : 526

The design and development process for humanoid robots by Dr. Muecke and Prof. Hong.

Passive dynamic walking with knees

Author  Tad McGeer

Video ID : 527

Passive dynamic walker developed by Dr. McGeer.

Intuitive control of a planar bipedal walking robot

Author  Jerry Pratt

Video ID : 529

The planar bipedal walking robot `Spring Flamingo' driven by series elastic actuators developed by Dr. Jerry Pratt and Prof. Gill Pratt.