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Locomotion results from complex, high-dimensional, non-linear, dynamically coupled interactions between an organism and its environment. Fortunately, simple models we call templates have been and can be made to resolve the redundancy of multiple legs, joints and muscles by seeking synergies and symmetries. A template is the simplest model (least number of(More)
We review the mechanical components of an approach to motion science that enlists recent progress in neurophysiology, biomechanics, control systems engineering, and non-linear dynamical systems to explore the integration of muscular, skeletal, and neural mechanics that creates effective locomotor behavior. We use rapid arthropod terrestrial locomotion as(More)
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(More)
Animals can swerve, dodge, dive, climb, turn and stop abruptly. Their stability and maneuverability are remarkable, but a challenge to quantify. Formal stability analysis can allow for quantitative comparisons within and among species. Stability analysis used in concert with a template (a simple, general model that serves as a guide for control) can lead to(More)
We review a large multidisciplinary effort to develop a family of autonomous robots capable of rapid, agile maneuvers in and around natural and artificial vertical terrains such as walls, cliffs, caves, trees and rubble. Our robot designs are inspired by (but not direct copies of) biological climbers such as cockroaches, geckos, and squirrels. We are(More)
In this paper, the authors describe the design and control of RHex, a power autonomous, untethered, compliant-legged hexapod robot. RHex has only six actuators—one motor located at each hip— achieving mechanical simplicity that promotes reliable and robust operation in real-world tasks. Empirically stable and highly maneuverable locomotion arises from a(More)
We report on our efforts to develop a sequential robot controller-composition technique in the context of dexterous " batting " maneuvers. A robot with a flat paddle is required to strike repeatedly at a thrown ball until the ball is brought to rest on the paddle at a specified location. The robot's reachable workspace is blocked by an obstacle that(More)
We report on the design and development of X-RHex, a hexapedal robot with a single actuator per leg, intended for real-world mobile applications. X-RHex is an updated version of the RHex platform, designed to offer substantial improvements in power, run-time, payload size, durability, and terrain negotiation, with a smaller physical volume and a comparable(More)
We present our approach to undergraduate engineering education, " A contexualized, social, self-paced, engineering education for lifelong learners " through a look at a new two course introductory sequence for the freshman year. As the centerpiece of these courses, we use a smaller version of our advanced research platform, RHex, to integrate introductory(More)