Research Papers

Spring Parameters Design for the New Hydraulic Actuated Quadruped Robot

[+] Author and Article Information
Xianbao Chen

School of Mechanical Engineering,
Shanghai Jiao Tong University,
800 Dongchuan Road,
Shanghai 200240, China
e-mail: xianbao@sjtu.edu.cn

Feng Gao

School of Mechanical Engineering,
Shanghai Jiao Tong University,
800 Dongchuan Road,
Shanghai 200240, China
e-mail: fengg@sjtu.edu.cn

Chenkun Qi

School of Mechanical Engineering,
Shanghai Jiao Tong University,
800 Dongchuan Road,
Shanghai 200240, China
e-mail: chenkqi@sjtu.edu.cn

Xinghua Tian

School of Mechanical Engineering,
Shanghai Jiao Tong University,
800 Dongchuan Road,
Shanghai 200240, China
e-mail: xhtian@sjtu.edu.cn

Jiaqi Zhang

School of Mechanical Engineering,
Shanghai Jiao Tong University,
800 Dongchuan Road,
Shanghai 200240, China
e-mail: zhangjiaqiok@gmail.com

Contributed by the Mechanisms and Robotics Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MECHANISMS AND ROBOTICS. Manuscript received May 13, 2013; final manuscript received September 29, 2013; published online January 7, 2014. Assoc. Editor: J.M. Selig.

J. Mechanisms Robotics 6(2), 021003 (Jan 07, 2014) (9 pages) Paper No: JMR-13-1093; doi: 10.1115/1.4025754 History: Received May 13, 2013; Revised September 29, 2013

More and more state-of-the-art robots have employed hydraulic actuating systems. It has a high power-to-weight ratio. Robots with these actuators can bear more payloads and achieve highly dynamic performance. However, the energy consumption is also very high and the system is very complicated comparing to the electronic motor actuated robot. A lot of research has been done to save the energy. Among which the application of springs is one of the most commonly used methods. This paper presents another use of the spring to save the energy by reducing the hydraulic system pressure of a newly built robot called the “Baby Elephant.” The configuration of the spring is designed according to the leg mechanism. The spring gives an assist force in the stance phase of the leg and exerts a passive payload in the swing phase. The maximum cylinder force is then reduced so as to bring down the pump pressure. The energy to be saved depends on how much the hydraulic pressure can be reduced. In this paper, the Baby Elephant is briefly introduced, the design of the springs on saving the energy are described. Simulations and experiments are carried out to confirm the effect.

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Fig. 2

Walking over uneven terrains

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Fig. 3

The hydraulic actuator

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Fig. 4

Sensors and actuators on the robot

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Fig. 6

Workspace of the foot tip

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Fig. 7

Mechanical structure of the leg

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Fig. 9

Spring system of the leg

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Fig. 8

Spring configuration models

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Fig. 10

Foot tip trajectory of the mark time marching

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Fig. 18

Cylinder forces in the experiment

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Fig. 19

Battery output power

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Fig. 20

Endurance experiment

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Fig. 15

Cylinder forces in the simulation

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Fig. 16

Springs fixed on the leg

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Fig. 17

XPM6 Miniature pressure sensor

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Fig. 11

Cylinder force surface

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Fig. 12

Cylinder forces of different stance height

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Fig. 13

Simulation of mark time marching

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Fig. 14

The contact forces of the foot tips with the ground



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