Walking Machines: An Introduction to Legged Robots

Walking Machines: An Introduction to Legged Robots

by D. J. Todd


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The first chapter of this book traces the history of the development of walking machines from the original ideas of man-amplifiers and military rough-ground transport to today's diverse academic and industrial research and development projects. It concludes with a brief account of research on other unusual methods of locomotion. The heart of the book is the next three chapters on the theory and engineering of legged robots. Chapter 2 presents the basics of land loco­ motion, going on to consider the energetics of legged movement and the description and classification of gaits. Chapter 3, dealing with the mechanics of legged vehicles, goes into leg number and arrangement, and discusses mechanical design and actuation methods. Chapter 4 deals with analysis and control, describing the aims of control theory and the methods of modelling and control which have been used for both highly dynamic robots and multi-legged machines. Having dealt with the theory of control it is necessary to discuss the computing system on which control is to be implemented. This is done in Chapter 5, which covers architectures, sensing, algorithms and pro­ gramming languages. Chapter 6 brings together the threads of the theory and engineering discussed in earlier chapters and summarizes the current walking machine research projects. Finally, the applications, both actual and potential, of legged locomotion are described. Introduction Research into legged machines is expanding rapidly. There are several reasons why this is happening at this particular time.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780850389326
Publisher: Springer US
Publication date: 06/28/1985
Series: Chapman and Hall Advanced Industrial Technology Series
Pages: 190
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 1.50(h) x 9.50(d)

Table of Contents

Advantages of legs.- Terminology.- 1 A brief history of walking machines.- Rough-terrain transport.- Bipeds: medical applications and man-amplifiers.- The modern era: computer control.- Alternative mechanisms of locomotion.- 2 General principles of legged locomotion.- The theory of land locomotion in general.- The soil mechanics of wheels.- Locomotion using levers.- Soil mechanics and the difference between feet and wheels.- The energetics of legged locomotion.- Other properties of legs.- Mechanisms other than legs.- Aids to locomotion.- Non-locomotory uses of appendages.- Description and classification of gaits.- 3 The mechanics of legged vehicles.- Animal structures and their applications to robots.- Leg number and arrangement.- Leg design.- Structure.- Actuation methods.- 4 The analysis and control of legged systems.- Purpose of analysis and control.- The objectives of control in legged locomotion.- Dynamics.- Multipod control.- 5 Computing: hardware and software requirements.- Computer architectures.- Sensing methods.- The design of algorithms for multipod walking.- Programming languages for legged robots.- 6 Current developments.- The Ohio State University hexapod and adaptive suspension vehicle.- ReCUS: the Komatsu underwater octopod.- Sutherland’s hexapod.- The Odetics ODEX I.- Quadruped research at the Tokyo Institute of Technology.- Walking robots in France.- Jurassic Robots.- Current research on bipeds.- Research on hopping at Carnegie-Mellon University.- Conclusions.- 7 Applications of walking machines.- Military transport.- Mining.- Nuclear engineering and other cases of remote handling.- Prosthetics and orthotics: walking chairs.- Planetary exploration.- Construction and related activities.- Agriculture and forestry.- Mobile robots in artificial intelligence.- Fire-fighting and rescue robots.- Applications unlikely to be suitable for walking machines.- The study of locomotion (zoology and engineering).- Education, art and entertainment.- References and bibliography.

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