Haynes, Galen Clark
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PublicationIntegrating a Hierarchy of Simulation Tools for Legged Robot Locomotion(2008-09-01) Slatton, Andrew; Ding, Yang; Umbanhowar, P B; Goldman, Daniel; Haynes, Galen C; Komsuoglu, Haldun; Koditschek, Daniel E; Cohen, DanielWe are interested in the development of a variety of legged robot platforms intended for operation in unstructured outdoor terrain. In such settings, the traditions of rational engineering design, driven by analytically informed and computationally assisted studies of robot-environment models, remain ineffective due to the complexity of both the robot designs and the terrain in which they must operate. Instead, empirical trial and error often drives the necessary incremental and iterative design process, hence the development of such robots remains expensive both in time and cost, and is often closely dependent upon the substrate properties of the locomotion terrain. This paper describes a series of concurrent but increasingly coordinated software development efforts that aim to diminish the gap between easily interfaced and physically sound computational models of a real robot’s operation in a complex natural environment. We describe a robot simulation environment in which simple robot modiﬁcations can be easily prototyped along and “played” into phenomenological models of contact mechanics. We particularly focus on the daunting but practically compelling example of robot feet interacting granular media, such as gravel or sand, offering a brief report of our progress in deriving and importing physically accurate but computationally tractable phenomenological substrate models into the robot execution simulation environment. With a goal of integration for future robot prototyping simulations, we review the prospects for diminishing the gap between the integrated computational models and the needs of physical platform development. PublicationRapid Pole Climbing with a Quadrupedal Robot(2009-05-01) Haynes, G C; Lynch, Goran; Khripin, Alex; Amory, Jon; Koditschek, Daniel E; Saunders, Aaron; Rizzi, Alfred AThis paper describes the development of a legged robot designed for general locomotion of complex terrain but specialized for dynamical, high-speed climbing of a uniformly convex cylindrical structure, such as an outdoor telephone pole. This robot, the RiSE V3 climbing machine—mass 5.4 kg, length 70 cm, excluding a 28 cm tail appendage—includes several novel mechanical features, including novel linkage designs for its legs and a non-backdrivable, energy-dense power transmission to enable high-speed climbing. We summarize the robot’s design and document a climbing behavior that achieves rapid ascent of a wooden telephone pole at 21 cm/s, a speed previously unachieved—and, we believe, heretofore impossible—with a robot of this scale. The behavioral gait of the robot employs the mechanical design to propel the body forward while passively maintaining yaw, pitch, and roll stability during climbing locomotion. The robot’s general-purpose legged design coupled with its specialized ability to quickly gain elevation and park at a vertical station silently with minimal energy consumption suggest potential applications including search and surveillance operations as well as ad hoc networking. PublicationDisturbance Detection, Identification, and Recovery by Gait Transition in Legged Robots(2010-10-01) Johnson, Aaron M; Haynes, Galen Clark; Koditschek, Daniel EWe present a framework for detecting, identifying, and recovering within stride from faults and other leg contact disturbances encountered by a walking hexapedal robot. Detection is achieved by means of a software contactevent sensor with no additional sensing hardware beyond the commercial actuators’ standard shaft encoders. A simple finite state machine identifies disturbances as due either to an expected ground contact, a missing ground contact indicating leg fault, or an unexpected “wall” contact. Recovery proceeds as necessary by means of a recently developed topological gait transition coordinator. We demonstrate the efficacy of this system by presenting preliminary data arising from two reactive behaviors — wall avoidance and leg-break recovery. We believe that extensions of this framework will enable reactive behaviors allowing the robot to function with guarded autonomy under widely varying terrain and self-health conditions. PublicationGait Transitions for Quasi-Static Hexapedal Locomotion on Level Ground(2009-08-01) Haynes, Galen C; Cohen, Fred; Koditschek, Daniel EAs robot bodies become more capable, the motivation grows to better coordinate them—whether multiple limbs attached to a body or multiple bodies assigned to a task. This paper introduces a new formalism for coordination of periodic tasks, with specific application to gait transitions for legged platforms. Specifically, we make modest use of classical group theory to replace combinatorial search and optimization with a computationally simpler and conceptually more straightforward appeal to elementary algebra. We decompose the space of all periodic legged gaits into a cellular complex indexed using “Young Tableaux”, making transparent the proximity to steady state orbits and the neighborhood structure. We encounter the simple task of transitioning between these gaits while locomoting over level ground. Toward that end, we arrange a family of dynamical reference generators over the “Gait Complex” and construct automated coordination controllers to force the legged system to converge to a specified cell’s gait, while assessing the relative static stability of gaits by approximating their stability margin via transit through a “Stance Complex”. To integrate these two different constructs—the Gait Complex describing possible gaits, the Stance Complex defining safe locomotion—we utilize our compositional lexicon to plan switching policies for a hybrid control approach. Results include automated gait transitions for a variety of useful gaits, shown via tests on a hexapedal robot. PublicationX-RHex: A Highly Mobile Hexapedal Robot for Sensorimotor Tasks(2010-11-04) Galloway, Kevin C; Haynes, Galen Clark; Ilhan, B. Deniz; Johnson, Aaron M; Knopf, Ryan; Lynch, Goran A; Plotnick, Benjamin N; White, Mackenzie; Koditschek, Daniel EWe report on the design and development of X-RHex, a hexapedal robot with a single actuator per leg, intended for real-world mobile applications. X-RHex is an updated version of the RHex platform, designed to offer substantial improvements in power, run-time, payload size, durability, and terrain negotiation, with a smaller physical volume and a comparable footprint and weight. Furthermore, X-RHex is designed to be easier to build and maintain by using a variety of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) components for a majority of its internals. This document describes the X-RHex architecture and design, with a particular focus on the new ability of this robot to carry modular payloads as a laboratory on legs. X-RHex supports a variety of sensor suites on a small, mobile robotic platform intended for broad, general use in research, defense, and search and rescue applications. Comparisons with previous RHex platforms are presented throughout, with preliminary tests indicating that the locomotive capabilities of X-RHex can meet or exceed the previous platforms. With the additional payload capabilities of X-RHex, we claim it to be the first robot of its size to carry a fully programmable GPU for fast, parallel sensor processing.