Abstract for the December 5, 1997 Robotics Institute Seminar

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Legged Locomotion with little power, few motors

Martin Buehler
Department of Mechanical Engineering
McGill University

4:00pm, Adamson Wing, Baker Hall

This talk will present recent advances by the speaker and his students in the area of design and control of dynamically stable legged robots. The principle of passive dynamics was harnessed via suitable controls for the compliant hip joint of our ARL Monopod, a planar one-legged hopping robot. Combined with the leg compliance, the average (total) mechanical energy expenditure was reduced to a mere 64 W at a running speed of 1 m/s. We will also report on a new quadruped design and control project. The goal is to derive stable and robust controllers which permit the use of legs with minimum mechanical complexity, yet feature a rich set of robot behaviors. The control framework will be described and preliminary experimental results demonstrated, via our prototype quadruped, SCOUT-1. It walks, turns, and can climb a step, all in a dynamically stable fashion. Simulation results show the possibility of stair climbing, and running.

Biographical Sketch
Martin Buehler received his M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from Yale University in 1985 and 1990, respectively. From 1990-1991 he was a post-doctoral associate in the MIT AI Lab. He is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at McGill University. His research interests are in the area of robot manipulation and legged locomotion. He held a junior Industrial Research Chair from 1991-1995, is presently a Project Leader in the Federal Network of Centres of Excellence, and a Scholar of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research.

For appointments, please contact the host, Sanjiv Singh, at ssingh@frc.ri.cmu.edu

Last Modified on: Thu Nov 6, 1997

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