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Design and Control of a Robotic Leg with Braided Pneumatic Actuators

By Robb W. Colbrunn, Gabriel M. Nelson and Roger D. Quinn


A four-DOF planar robotic leg actuated with McKibben artificial muscles was designed, constructed, and controlled. Both position and passive stiffness were independently controllable at each joint. The tunable passive stiffness properties of the actuators provided stable, forward walking for the robot. A benefit of passive joint stiffness is energy efficiency. Results indicate that the leg may be capable of walking on a horizontal plane with its control valves off 90 % of the time. The muscle-like properties of these actuators, including high strength-toweight ratio, tunable passive stiffness, and self-limiting force output, make them well suited for legged robots. 1

Year: 2000
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