Moving robots of alternative design and keeping the balance
Walking is a method by which a creature moves using legs and which allows to maintain contact with a supporting surface. Two-legged creatures cyclically alternate the period of supporting on one leg with the period of supporting on two legs and then they support on the other leg while walking. The period of supporting is changed to the legs lift-off from the support and this is the flying period. Walking is the natural method of human movement in space.
I’ve told about the humanoid robots in the last review (link to the previous blog). But there are also alternative solutions as for the implementation of walking technology and they can be used in order to improve motion dynamics and stability. Currently, Triol Corporation developments are focused on creating algorithms which keep robot’s balance.
There are several strategies for keeping balance. In this review I want to identify these methods and give several projects on walking robots, in which these methods are used. The developers have borrowed these principles from nature.
So, the robot Schaft (Google X) has increased stability due to a low centre of mass. The balance is kept by maintaining the position of the robot’s CM. It is achieved by controlling the support reaction force. This is one of the simple strategies for keeping the balance.
Boston Dynamics uses original designs and technologies in production of its robots. There are many famous robots among its projects: LS3, BIgdog, Cheetah. They have the body structure of four-footed animals, as well as point support legs and backward joints. Some of these robots move at a speed of up to 46 km/h. But I liked 2 following projects:
1. Handle is a biped robot with wheels on its legs. It uses the strategy of the compensating moment with respect to the centre of mass in order to keep the balance.
2. “Giraffe” SpotMini is a robot with a manipulator. It is described as a home helper. The robot is remarkable for its independence, using of an electric drive and the orientation in the premises. The balance is kept by creating a support in the direction of the fall.
Hitachi Japanese company manufactured the robot EMIEW-2C quite long ago. This robot has wheels on its legs and keeps the balance in a similar way to the robot SegWay.
Robot Cassie (Oregon University) is a biped robot without a trunk. It has a high centre of mass and a small foot area. This robot is produced with the most fully implemented strategy of keeping balance while walking and with the calculation of the step in the direction of the fall.
This completes the review of the moving robots. See you in the next blog!
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