The RHex takes a leap at robotics conference (w/ Video)

May 10, 2013 by Nancy Owano weblog

(Phys.org) —University of Pennsylvania robotics teams are at it again, this time coming up with a robot that aggressively expands the range of how many moves can be made to successfully cross rough terrain full of climbing and leaping challenges. Aaron M. Jonson, and D. E. Koditschek from the University of Pennsylvania's Kod *lab (a subsidiary of the school's GRASP Lab) presented their research, "Toward a Vocabulary of Legged Leaping," at ICRA 2013 in Germany. The video of their device in motion, showing gymnastic-style feats, recently made the rounds of tech sites. The authors also won attention in being one of five finalists for Best Student Paper Award. ICRA stands for the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation.

The draw toward their creation is in its ability to not only scurry forth but to leap, do backflips, ascend surfaces, climbing up onto a 73cm high, and cross 60 cm gaps, jumping from one plank to another.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

IEEE Spectrum notes that the researchers have progressed toward an X-RHex Light, or XRL, which weighs 6.7 kilograms (14.8 pounds) and has a body length of 51 centimeters (20 inches). The robot has six C-shaped legs, actuated by motors. X-RHex can cross a variety of terrains, including asphalt, grass, sand, mud, and rocks.) RHex began as part of a large funded consortium. A variety of RHex platforms have been developed ever since.

Their "legged-leaping" paper, details their work. "We exhibit on a RHex robot some of the most interesting 'words' formed by these achievable path sequences, documenting unprecedented levels of performance and new application possibilities that illustrate the value of understanding and expressing this vocabulary systematically."

Complex hurdles, they wrote, may require special leap capabilities, and that is their focus. They explain further:: "We have presented the space of legged transitions from complete rest to full flight as generated by combinatorial mixtures of various hybrid dynamical systems indexed by the cells of a "ground reaction complex." They see the value of this exploration as affording new behaviors that "extend the range of terrains that the RHex can negotiate."

Explore further: The robot "Athena" carries new impulses for robotics research in its luggage

More information: kodlab.seas.upenn.edu/uploads/… n/JohnsonLeaping.pdf
kodlab.seas.upenn.edu/XRHex/XRL

via IEEE Spectrum

Related Stories

NASA uses Leap Motion to move ATHLETE rover (w/ video)

Apr 01, 2013

(Phys.org) —NASA representatives were at the 2013 Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco to show how the ATHLETE robot, a six-legged robot developed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in southern ...

Berkeley robot uses tiny, spiny toes to climb cloth

Oct 10, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Scientists working in robotics know that nature holds the best ideas for making robots that can perform with speed, agility, and efficiency. At University of California, Berkeley, the Biomimetic ...

Now Boston Dynamics' BigDog can lift and toss (w/ video)

Mar 03, 2013

(Phys.org) —Boston Dynamics' DARPA-funded robotic dog has been upgraded with added functions for military support in hauling gear on rough terrain, Its new appendage is called various things—a "kind of ...

Recommended for you

Q&A: Drones might help explain how tornadoes form

10 hours ago

Researchers say they have collected promising weather data by flying instrument-laden drones into big Western and Midwestern storms. Now, they want to expand the project in hopes of learning more about how ...

First steps for Hector the robot stick insect

Dec 16, 2014

A research team at Bielefeld University has succeeded in teaching the only robot of its kind in the world how to walk. Its first steps have been recorded in a video. The robot is called Hector, and its construction ...

Getting bot responders into shape

Dec 16, 2014

Sandia National Laboratories is tackling one of the biggest barriers to the use of robots in emergency response: energy efficiency.

Robot 'shadow hand'

Dec 12, 2014

Picking up an apple is one of those jobs requiring the delicate touch of the human hand – or its robotic counterpart.

Two robots, one challenge, endless possibility

Dec 11, 2014

To the theme song of "2001: A Space Odyssey," a robot with a twisty spine rolled toward Thomas Rosenbaum, the new president of the California Institute of Technology, on Oct. 24, as he stood on a stage at ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.