Departmental Papers (ESE)



Biomechanical studies suggest that animals’ abilities to tune their effective leg compliance in response to changing terrain conditions plays an important role in their agile, robust locomotion. However, despite growing interest in leg compliance within the robotics literature, little experimental work has been reported on tunable passive leg compliance in running machines. In this paper we present an empirical study into the role of leg compliance using a composite tunable leg design implemented on our dynamic hexapod, EduBot, with gaits optimized for running speed using a range of leg stiffnesses, on two different surface stiffnesses, and with two different payload configurations (0 kg and 0.91 kg). We found that leg stiffness, surface compliance, and payload had a significant impact on the robot’s final optimized speed and efficiency. These results document the value and efficacy of what we believe is the first autonomous dynamic legged robot capable of runtime leg stiffness adjustment.

For more information: Kod*Lab

Document Type

Conference Paper

Subject Area

GRASP, Kodlab

Date of this Version



BibTeX entry

@INPROCEEDINGS{5979941, author={Galloway, K.C. and Clark, J.E. and Yim, M. and Koditschek, D.E.}, booktitle={Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2011 IEEE International Conference on}, title={Experimental investigations into the role of passive variable compliant legs for dynamic robotic locomotion}, year={2011}, month={may}, volume={}, number={}, pages={1243 -1249},doi={10.1109/ICRA.2011.5979941}, ISSN={1050-4729}, }

The authors would like to thank Dr. Haldun Komsuoglu for his design of the EduBot platform as well as Dr. Galen Clark Haynes, Aaron Johnson, and Berkay Deniz Ilhan for their contribution towards EduBot’s software and electrical development. This work was also supported by the NSF FIBR grant #0425878.

Copyright 2011 IEEE. Reprinted from Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2011 International Conference, pages 1243-1249.

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Date Posted: 05 November 2013

This document has been peer reviewed.