Legless Locomotion: A Novel Locomotion Technique for Legged Robots

Ravi Balasubramanian, Alfred Rizzi and Matthew T. Mason
Journal Article, International Journal of Robotics Research, Vol. 27, No. 5, pp. 575 - 594, May, 2008

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We present a novel locomotion strategy called legless locomotion that allows a round-bodied legged robot to locomote approximately when it is high-centered. Typically, a high-centered robot is stuck since the robot’s legs do not touch the ground. Legless locomotion uses the legs as a reaction mass to set up oscillatory body rotations which when coupled with ground contact gradually translate the robot. Legless locomotion’s continuous dynamics differs from previously studied locomotion methods because of the simultaneous interaction of gravity-induced oscillations, a configuration-dependent system inertia, and nonholonomic contact constraints. This paper employs simple models to capture the complex dynamics and uses the intuition developed from the models to develop gaits that provide planar accessibility. We also present a quantification of legless locomotion’s properties using simulations and motion-capture experiments.

author = {Ravi Balasubramanian and Alfred Rizzi and Matthew T. Mason},
title = {Legless Locomotion: A Novel Locomotion Technique for Legged Robots},
journal = {International Journal of Robotics Research},
year = {2008},
month = {May},
volume = {27},
number = {5},
pages = {575 - 594},
} 2019-06-27T13:24:16-04:00