Title page for ETD etd-05042012-155706

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Han, Jea-Kweon
Author's Email Address jk4robot@vt.edu
URN etd-05042012-155706
Title Bipedal Walking for a Full Size Humanoid Robot Utilizing Sinusoidal Feet Trajectories and Its Energy Consumption
Degree PhD
Department Mechanical Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Hong, Dennis W. Committee Chair
Kurdila, Andrew J. Committee Member
Lockhart, Thurmon E. Committee Member
Sturges, Robert H. Committee Member
West, Robert L. Jr. Committee Member
  • Sinusoidal
  • Humanoid Robot
  • Full Size
  • Bipedal Walking
  • Feet Trajectories
  • Energy Consumption
Date of Defense 2012-04-24
Availability unrestricted
This research effort aims to develop a series of full-sized humanoid robots, and to research a simple but reliable bipedal walking method.

Since the debut of Wabot from Waseda University in 1973, several full-sized humanoid robots have been developed around the world that can walk, and run. Although various humanoid robots have successfully demonstrated their capabilities, bipedal walking methods are still one of the main technical challenges that robotics researchers are attempting to solve. It is still challenging because most bipedal walking methods, including ZMP (Zero Moment Point) require not only fast sensor feedback, but also fast and precise control of actuators. For this reason, only a small number of research groups have the ability to create full-sized humanoid robots that can walk and run.

However, if we consider this problem from a different standpoint, the development of a full-sized humanoid robot can be simplified as long as the bipedal walking method is easily formulated. Therefore, this research focuses on developing a simple but reliable bipedal walking method. It then presents the designs of two versions of a new class of super lightweight (less than 13 kg), full-sized (taller than 1.4 m) humanoid robots called CHARLI-L (Cognitive Humanoid Autonomous Robot with Learning Intelligence – Lightweight) and CHARLI-2. These robots have unique designs compared to other full- sized humanoid robots. CHARLI-L utilizes spring assisted parallel four-bar linkages with synchronized actuation to achieve the goals of lightweight and low cost. Based on the experience and lesions learned from CHARLI-L, CHARLI-2 uses gear train reduction mechanisms, instead of parallel four-bar linkages, to increase actuation torque at the joints while further reducing weight.

Both robots successfully demonstrated untethered bipedal locomotion using an intuitive walking method with sinusoidal foot movement. This walking method is based on the ZMP method. Motion capture tests using six high speed infrared cameras validate the proposed bipedal walking method. Additionally, the total power and energy consumptions during walking are calculated from measured actuator currents.

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