Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
Optimization in Robotics and Biomechanics

Oberseminar 26.01.2017


Legged locomotion in machines and animals


Dr. Alexander Spröwitz and Steve Heim
Dynamic Locomotion Group
Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems


The dynamic performance and versatility of legged locomoting animals is neither reached nor sufficiently understood, and presents a fascinating goal in robotics. Research from Biology, Paleontology, and Biomechanics indicates the existence of design blueprints common in many groups of legged animals. Such blueprints are found e.g. in the mechanical design of mammalian legs as leg segmentation ratios, pantographic leg structures, and physical compliance. Examples from animal neuromuscular control are robust pattern generators responsible for locomotion rhythm generation. We present results from implementing biomechanical and control blueprints into a new generation of dynamic, legged robots. Cheetah-cub robot is the first quadruped robot between 0.5kg and 30kg to reach a dynamic speed of Froude 1.3, while running in 3D, and in a feed-forward control mode. We apply bio-inspired robot- and controller designs to produce rich and biomechanically relevant locomotion data, with emphasis on robotic hardware experiments. This allows us to analyze and compare robotic and biological legged systems, and to learn about animal locomotion.

K. Mombaur,
Last Update: 09.01.2017 - 10:32

The photographs in the header of this webpage have been taken at the Musee de l'Automate in Souillac, France