Towards an Active Spine for Mobile Robots
In 3rd IFToMM International Symposium on Robotics and Mechatronics, (ISRM-2013), 02.10.-04.10.2013, Singapur, Research Publishing Services, pages 28-34, Oct/2013.
An active, artificial spine applied to a mobile robot should effectively improve the systems locomotion and mobility characteristics. In this paper, we present the current work towards an active spinal column for legged robots. The design and results of different biologically inspired structures are shown. In the past, a small and light-weight robot was equipped with an abstracted passive artificial spine, which adds exibility and damping capabilities to the robot's body. The robot was able to walk and climb with these additional degrees of freedom (DOF). In order to improve the robot's abilities, the passive DOFs have to be actuated. One possible solution of an active spine based on a parallel kinematic mechanism including first results and a suitable demonstrator are presented. The long term goal is to increase the overall performance of a complex walking robot by the purposeful use of this structure.