Development of Passive Spine and Actuated Rear Foot for an Ape-Like Robot

Daniel Kuehn; Felix Bernhard; Felix Grimminger; Sven Simon; Frank Kirchner

In: H Fujimoto; M. O. Tokhi; H. Mochiyama; G. S. Virk (Hrsg.). Emerging Trends in Mobile Robotics. International Conference on Climbing and Walking Robots and the Support Technologies for Mobile Machines (CLAWAR-2010), 13th, August 31 - September 3, Nagoya, Japan, Pages 237-244, ISBN ISBN 13: 978-981-4327-97-8 ISBN 10: 981-4327-97-2, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd. 8/2010.


In this paper, an artificial passive spine and an actuated rear foot with two DOFs for a small and lightweight ape-like robot are presented. The aim of the LittleApe project is to build a robot that is capable of walking adequately on two and four legs, change from a four-legged posture to a two-legged posture, has the ability to manipulate small objects, and is able to climb. Specific motion sequences require not only movements of the limb, but also of the body. For LittleApe an abstraction was made to find out which DOFs are necessary to realise some of these motion sequences. The genus chimpanzee was chosen as an antetype for the robot. LittleApe is modelled with the same characteristics regarding limb proportions, spinal column, center of mass, walking pattern, and range of motion as the biological antetype. One approach of this work is to equip the torso with a exible artificial spine which adds central exibility and additional damping capabilities to the robot's body. The design of the light weight rear foot features force sensors to detect touchdown, measure the applied force, and evaluate the torque applied to the feet in real time.

Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz
German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence