Planar Elliptical Runner Robot That Runs Like An Ostrich, Can Balance Itself

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Video depicting ihmc’s work on the Planar Elliptical Runner. The Planar Elliptical Runner is a running robot that can run about 12 miles per hour on a treadmill. It is sandwhiched between two plates of glass, which keep it in the sagittal plane.

image credit: DRCihmcRobotics

It cannot turn or tip sideways, but it can tip forward/backward and fall down. The robot is “open loop stable”. There is only 1 motor driving the legs. There are no sensors or computers on board.

An RC car radio controller determines how much power to apply to the motor. Give the robot more power and it runs faster. Less power and it runs slower.

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In simulation we are exploring how to extend this concept to 3D running. Initial simulations are showing promising results.The elliptical runner is the world’s first segmented leg biped running robot that balances by itself, not by feedback, but by its dynamic geometry.

VIADRCihmcRobotics
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