Blackbird Bipedal Robot

A lightweight and efficient human-scale bipedal robot.

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The aim of this project is to build an underactuated biped based on the spring-mass model -- similar to Agility Robotics' Cassie and its predecessor ATRIAS.

This robot differs from other spring-mass-based bipeds in the type of actuators used -- specifically, quasi-direct-drive rather than series-elastic. This allows the "springs"  to be implemented in software rather than hardware, simplifying the design and reducing cost. 

This is the actuator I designed for use in this project: OpenTorque Actuator

The project will be split up into 2 stages. First, I'll build a simplified, 2d planar biped capable of walking on a treadmill. Once that works, I'll add the other 6 actuators (yaw, roll, and ankle pitch for each leg) for a complete, fully-functional robot. 

  • Leg Operational

    Gabrael Levinea day ago 0 comments

    Quick update: I finished wiring up the encoders and got the leg working. More to come soon.

  • First Leg Complete

    Gabrael Levine09/07/2018 at 00:26 0 comments

    I finished assembling the first leg for the prototype Blackbird robot. It's made from 2 OpenTorque actuators, some carbon fiber tubes, and a few printed parts. (The parts were printed out of PLA but will be redone in NylonX for the final version.) 

    Since this is a simplified prototype, there's no ankle joint. Instead it has a point-contact foot. This makes it a better approximation of the spring-loaded inverted pendulum (SLIP) model, which makes developing the controls easier, but it'll need an ankle joint to be able to stand still. Until the ankle joint is added, I can use dynamic standing (see the video below).

    Next up: building a test rig from V-slot extrusions and seeing how high the leg can jump. 

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merck.ding wrote 09/11/2018 at 11:37 point


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Paul Crouch wrote 09/08/2018 at 20:59 point

Loving this, reminiscent of Cassie (minus the series-elastic components). Watching with interest.

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