Knee design for a bipedal walking robot based on a passive-dynamic walker
Author(s)Baines, Andrew Griffin
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.
Ernesto E. Blanco.
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Passive-dynamic walkers are a class of robots that can walk down a ramp stably without actuators or control due to the mechanical dynamics of the robot. Using a passive-dynamic design as the basis for a powered robot helps to simplify the control problem and maximize energy efficiency compared to the traditional joint-angle control strategy. This thesis outlines the design of a knee for the robot known as Toddler, a passive-dynamic based powered walker built at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. An actuator at the knee allows the robot to bend and straighten the leg, but a clutch mechanism allows the actuator to completely disengage so that the leg can swing freely. The clutch operates by using a motor to rotate a lead screw which engages or disengages a set of spur gears. Control of the knee is accomplished by utilizing the robot's sensors to determine whether or not the knee should be engaged. The engagement signal is then fed through a simple motor control circuit which controls the motor that turns the lead screw. The knee design was successfully implemented on Toddler but more work is required in order to optimize his walking. In order to study the dynamics of walking with knees, we also built a copy of McGeer's original passive walker with knees.
Thesis (S.B.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, 2005.Includes bibliographical references (leaf 30).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology