Watch a one-legged robot hop about as researchers try to knock it over

1 month ago 16
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Technology 7 September 2021

By Bas den Hond

A one-legged robot that tin stand, hop and support its equilibrium connected sloping oregon unsteady surfaces could connection a cheaper way to bipedal bots and self-balancing exoskeletons. Researchers astatine the Toyota Technological Institute (TTI) successful Nagoya, Japan, built their robot, dubbed TTI Hopper, utilizing elemental motors and gears for little than $1000, past created an algorithm that compensates for the constricted capabilities of these components.

“In robotics, we sometimes usage hydraulics, due to the fact that they tin beryllium actuated fast,” says Barkan Uğurlu, who is present astatine Özyeğin University successful Istanbul, Turkey. “Or electrical actuators that person a peculiar outpouring statement oregon a strain gauge to measurement forces inside. Instead, we utilized DC motors with gears. We lone measurement the associated angle, and we lone utilized 1 precise low-cost unit sensor astatine the foot.”

The algorithm makes the joints springiness mode erstwhile shocks request to beryllium absorbed, and stiffens them up erstwhile the robot has to close itself oregon propulsion disconnected portion running, allowing it to enactment upright adjacent nether challenging circumstances, specified arsenic an inclined aboveground that abruptly goes to horizontal.

The resulting “terrain adaptation ability” isn’t new, says Uğurlu, but helium and his colleagues person managed to beryllium mathematically that their algorithm guaranteed the robot’s stability, fixed the slope and question of the aboveground during their experiments. They did this by calculating the vertical and horizontal forces from the motors and from gravity that the algorithm would make connected the leg.  For example, they recovered the robot should stay unchangeable up to a 9 grade slope.

“If you marque the limb excessively weak, for instance, it starts vibrating, adjacent if determination is nary disturbance,” says Uğurlu. ” We cognize from the opening what the harmless settings are.”

Uğurlu is present moving connected utilizing the algorithm successful a bipedal exoskeleton for radical who person mislaid the usage of their legs. “Commercially disposable exoskeletons don’t person self-balancing capabilities,” helium says. “They determination your legs, but for equilibrium the diligent has to prosecute their precocious body, with crutches. My thought is to usage the terrain adaptation quality to get escaped of the crutches.”

Journal reference: Autonomous Robots, DOI: 10.1007/s10514-021-10010-z

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