Departmental Papers (ESE)


Streaming Media

Media is loading


The Jerboa, a tailed bipedal robot with two hip-actuated, passive-compliant legs and a doubly actuated tail, has been shown both formally and empirically to exhibit a variety of stable hopping and running gaits in the sagittal plane. In this paper we take the first steps toward operating Jerboa as a fully spatial machine by addressing the predominant mode of destabilization away from the sagittal plane: body roll. We develop a provably stable controller for underactuated aerial stabilization of the coupled body roll and tail angles, that uses just the tail torques. We show that this controller is successful at reliably reorienting the Jerboa body in roughly 150 ms of freefall from a large set of initial conditions. This controller also enables (and appears intuitively to be crucial for) sustained empirically stable hopping in the frontal plane by virtue of its substantial robustness against destabilizing perturbations and calibration errors. The controller as well as the analysis methods developed here are applicable to any robotic platform with a similar doubly-actuated spherical tail joint.

Sponsor Acknowledgements

This work was supported in part by the ARL/GDRS RCTA project, Coop. Agreement #W911NF-10-2-0016 and in part by NSF grant #1028237

Document Type

Conference Paper

Subject Area

GRASP, Kodlab

Date of this Version


Publication Source

2016 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS)

Copyright/Permission Statement

Notice from

© 2017 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. Permission from IEEE must be obtained for all other uses, in any current or future media, including reprinting/republishing this material for advertising or promotional purposes, creating new collective works, for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or reuse of any copyrighted component of this work in other works.

Bib Tex

@inproceedings{wenger_frontal_2016, title = {Frontal plane stabilization and hopping with a 2DOF tail}, url = {}, urldate = {2017-01-05}, booktitle = {Intelligent {Robots} and {Systems} ({IROS}), 2016 {IEEE}/{RSJ} {International} {Conference} on}, publisher = {IEEE}, author = {Wenger, Garrett and De, Avik and Koditschek, Daniel E.}, year = {2016}, pages = {567--573}



Date Posted: 13 February 2019