ICRA'09 Paper Abstract


Paper FrD1.5

Haynes, Galen Clark (University of Pennsylvania), Khripin, Alex (Boston Dynamics, Inc.), Lynch, Goran (University of Pennsylvania), Amory, Jonathan (Boston Dynamics, Inc.), Saunders, Aaron (Boston Dynamics, Inc.), Rizzi, Alfred (Boston Dynamics), Koditschek, Daniel (University of Pennsylvania)

Rapid Pole Climbing with a Quadrupedal Robot

Scheduled for presentation during the Regular Sessions "Legged Robots and Humanoid Locomotion - IV" (FrD1), Friday, May 15, 2009, 16:50−17:10, MainHall

2009 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, May 12 - 17, 2009, Kobe, Japan

This information is tentative and subject to change. Compiled on January 21, 2022

Keywords Legged Robots and Humanoid Locomotion, Biologically-Inspired Robots, Mechanism Design


This paper describes the development of a legged robot designed for general locomotion of complex terrain but specialized for dynamical, high-speed climbing of a uniformly convex cylindrical structure, such as an outdoor telephone pole. This robot, the RiSE V3 climbing machine---mass 5.4 kg, length 70 cm, excluding a 28 cm tail appendage---includes several novel mechanical features, including novel linkage designs for its legs and a non-backdrivable, energy-dense power transmission to enable high-speed climbing. We summarize the robot's design and document a climbing behavior that achieves rapid ascent of a wooden telephone pole at 21 cm/s, a speed previously unachieved---and, we believe, heretofore impossible---with a robot of this scale. The behavioral gait of the robot employs the mechanical design to propel the body forward while passively maintaining yaw, pitch, and roll stability during climbing locomotion. The robot's general-purpose legged design coupled with its specialized ability to quickly gain elevation and park at a vertical station silently with minimal energy consumption suggest potential applications including search and surveillance operations as well as ad hoc networking.



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