Running beyond the bio-inspired regime

  • Haldane D
  • Fearing R
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The X2-VelociRoACH is a 54 gram experimental legged robot which was developed to test hypotheses about running with unnaturally high stride frequencies. It is capable of running at stride frequencies up to 45 Hz, and velocities up to 4.9 m/s, making it the fastest legged robot relative to size. The top speed of the robot was limited by structural failure. We present new methods and materials to make more robust folded robotic structures. High-frequency running experiments with the robot shows that the power required to cycle its running appendages increase cubically with the stride rate. Our findings show that although it is possible to further increase the maximum velocity of a legged robot with the simple strategy of increasing stride frequency, considerations must be made for the energetic demands of high stride rates.

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