A Bio-inspired Quasi-resonant Compliant Backbone for Low Power Consumption Quadrupedal Locomotion

Edgar Parra Ricaurte, Julian Colorado, S. Dominguez, C. Rossi

Abstract

Many quadrupeds are capable of highly power efficient gaits thanks to their flexible backbone. This is used during different stages of the gait in order to store and release elastic energy, also helping a smooth deceleration and a fast acceleration of the different parts of the body involved during running. In this work we present our current studies aimed to reproduce such phenomena for efficient robot locomotion. In addition, we studied how to amplify such effect when the frequency of the oscillations is brought close to the natural resonant frequency of the compliant structure. We demonstrated that a flexible artificial structure representing the backbone, muscle and tendons, driven to quasi-resonant oscillations is capable of dramatically reducing the power required to maintain oscillations. At the same time, these reach a bigger amplitude. Such effect will be used to design fast running and energy efficient quadruped robots.

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