Bruce Miller, Camilo Ordonez, and Jonathan E. Clark
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Florida A&M University - Florida State University College of Engineering
2525 Pottsdamer Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32310
Recent investigations into biological locomotion have resulted in the development of reduced order templates that emphasize the role of lateral dynamics in achieving rapid and robust fore-aft movement, such as the Full-Goldman model for dynamic climbing and the Lateral Leg Spring model for horizontal plane running. The observation of a single animal demonstrating locomotion via both of these models motivates the investigation of how a single platform can be developed that can do so as well. However, a difficulty in developing a robot directly from these models stems from both having a bipedal configuration. While a bipedal robot could be developed, the restriction of control approaches, reduction in stability, and preclusion of leg differentiation motivates the development of a platform with additional limbs. In this study, we describe the development of the first quadrupedal platform capable of instantiating the Full-Goldman model, as well as the Lateral Leg Spring model. In particular, the climbing behavior is characterized and the effect of rear leg posture is examined for locomotion on a vertical surface. We demonstrate that climbing behavior can be impacted by the configuration of the rear legs and that utilizing an inward-sprawled configuration can improve the climbing performance.