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Towards Platform-Agnostic Terrain-Specific Gait Strategies

Legged mobile robots have a number of distinct advantages over wheeled or flight-enabled platforms, including optimal foot placement and task- or terrain-specific gait strategies. When analyzing a legged robot, the use of reduced order models is common for understanding the platform dynamics and developing a controller template. In this context, if a single-legged platform can be optimized for a particular use (e.g. speed or efficiency, rough or smooth terrain, etc.), the resulting control scheme informs the control of a multi-legged platform, and is significantly easier to develop. However, the optimization of a gait controller on one robotic platform is platform-dependent: it is unclear from a single gait study whether the optimized parameters are effective only for a given terrain, mechanism, or physical scale. This thesis tests that platform dependence. In doing so, it orchestrates the tools for transposing a gait from one robotic system to another. It also reoptimizes a set of gaits on a new platform, elucidates terrain-specific and platform-specific behavior, and analyzes select gait features as essential or non-essential for energy-efficient running on a given terrain. In a comparison between two single-legged hopping robots, leg touchdown angle and leg angle modulation are consistent parameters across terrain, but vary between platforms. Aggressive PD terms increase energy-efficiency on deformable media, and appear to increase stability for excessive touchdown angles as well. Asymmetry in the gait of a 5-bar mechanism is an emergent property that appears to improve gait performance by injecting energy, though why this feature is necessary is unclear. Trajectories of successful gaits appear consistent between platforms and match biological inspiration (which was also an emergent property and not explicitly controlled). / A Thesis submitted to the Department of Mechanical Engineering in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science. / Summer Semester 2018. / July 17, 2018. / Includes bibliographical references. / Jonathan Clark, Professor Directing Thesis; Kourosh Shoele, Committee Member; Carl Moore, Committee Member.
ContributorsPearson, Blair (author), Clark, Jonathan E. (professor directing thesis), Shoele, Kourosh (committee member), Moore, Carl A. (committee member), Florida State University (degree granting institution), FAMU-FSU College of Engineering (degree granting college), Department of Mechanical Engineering (degree granting departmentdgg)
PublisherFlorida State University
Source SetsFlorida State University
LanguageEnglish, English
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeText, text, master thesis
Format1 online resource (69 pages), computer, application/pdf

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