Departmental Papers (ESE)



For mobile robots, the essential units of actuation, computation, and sensing must be designed to fit within the body of the robot. Additional capabilities will largely depend upon a given activity, and should be easily reconfigurable to maximize the diversity of applications and experiments. To address this issue, we introduce a modular architecture originally developed and tested in the design and implementation of the X-RHex hexapod that allows the robot to operate as a mobile laboratory on legs. In the present paper we will introduce the specification, design and very earliest operational data of Canid, an actively driven compliant-spined quadruped whose completely different morphology and intended dynamical operating point are nevertheless built around exactly the same “Lab on Legs” actuation, computation, and sensing infrastructure. We will review as well, more briefly a second RHex variation, the XRL latform, built using the same components.

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Document Type

Conference Paper

Subject Area

GRASP, Kodlab

Date of this Version



BibTeX entry @inproceedings{paper:xrhex_canid_spie_2012, author = {G. Clark Haynes and Jason Pusey and Ryan Knopf and Aaron M. Johnson and Daniel E. Koditschek}, editor = {Robert E. Karlsen and Douglas W. Gage and Charles M. Shoemaker and Grant R. Gerhart}, collaboration = {}, title = {Laboratory on legs: an architecture for adjustable morphology with legged robots}, publisher = {SPIE}, year = {2012}, booktitle = {Unmanned Systems Technology XIV}, volume = {8387}, number = {1}, eid = {83870W}, numpages = {14}, pages = {83870W}, location = {Baltimore, Maryland, USA}, url = {}, doi = {10.1117/12.920678} }

This work was funded in part by the National Science Foundation under FIBR award 0425878 and in part by the Army Research Laboratory under Cooperative Agreement Number W911NF-10–2−0016. Further robot development and testing was supported under the DARPA Maximum Mobility and Manipulation Seedling project. XRL was developed in part with a EPSRC New Investigator award and Andrew Spence. Partial support for several undergraduate research assistants was provided by the University of Pennsylvania through the Alfred Fitler Moore Chair Endowment. The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the official policies, either expressed or implied, of the Army Research Laboratory or the U.S. Government.

Copyright 2012 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers. Postprint version.

This paper was (will be) published in Proceedings of the SPIE Defense, Security, and Sensing Conference, Unmanned Systems Technology XIV, Volume 8387, 2012 and is made available as an electronic reprint with permission of SPIE.
One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic or multiple reproduction, distribution to multiple locations via electronic or other means, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper are prohibited.



Date Posted: 31 October 2013

This document has been peer reviewed.