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Animal-inspired Design and Aerodynamic Stabilization of a Hexapedal Millirobot

By Duncan W. Haldane, Kevin C. Peterson, O L. Garcia Bermudez and Ronald S. Fearing


Abstract — The VelociRoACH is a 10 cm long, 30 gram hexapedal millirobot capable of running at 2.7 m/s, making it the fastest legged robot built to date, relative to scale. We present the design by dynamic similarity technique and the locomotion adaptations which have allowed for this highly dynamic performance. In addition, we demonstrate that rotational dynamics become critical for stability as the scale of a robotic system is reduced. We present a new method of experimental dynamic tuning for legged millirobots, aimed at finding stable limit cycles with minimal rotational energy. By implementing an aerodynamic rotational damper, we further reduced the rotational energy in the system, and demonstrated that stable limit cycles with lower rotational energy are more robust to disturbances. This method increased the stability of the system without detracting from forward speed. I

Year: 2013
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