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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.

IHMC/Yobotics biped

Author  Jerry Pratt

Video ID : 530

A 12 DOF biped walking robot driven by linear series elastic actuators developed by researchers at IHMC and Yobotics.

Torque-controlled humanoid robot TORO

Author  Christian Ott

Video ID : 531

A torque-controlled humanoid robot TORO developed by the German Aerospace Center (DLR).

3-D passive dynamic walking robot

Author  Steven Collins

Video ID : 532

A passive dynamic walking robot in 3-D developed by Dr.Collins.

Biped running robot MABEL

Author  Jessy Grizzle

Video ID : 533

A biped running robot MABEL developed at the University of Michigan in the lab of Prof. Grizzle. The robot was developed in collaboration with Jonathan Hurst, Al Rizzi and Jessica Hodgins of the Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University.

STriDER: Self-excited tripedal dynamic experimental robot

Author  Dennis Hong

Video ID : 534

Tripod walking robot developed by Dr. Heaston, Prof. Hong, Dr. Morazzani, Dr. Ren, and Dr. Goldman at the Robotics and Mechanisms Laboratory of Virginia Tech.

Roller-Walker: Leg-wheel hybrid vehicle

Author  Gen Endo

Video ID : 535

A leg-wheel hybrid vehicle developed by Dr. Endo.

RHex rough-terrain robot

Author  Boston Dynamics

Video ID : 536

A leg-wheel hybrid robot RHex developed by Boston Dynamics.

Whegs II: A mobile robot using abstracted biological principles

Author  Roger D. Quinn

Video ID : 537

A leg-wheel robot developed by researchers at Case Western Reserve University.

StickybotIII climbing robot

Author  Mark R. Cutkosky

Video ID : 540

A walk climbing robot developed by Prof. Cutkosky and his colleagues.

Waalbot: Agile climbing with synthetic fibrillar dry adhesives

Author  Mike Murphy

Video ID : 541

A wall climbing robot developed by Dr. Murphy and Dr. Sitti.