A biomimetic robot kangaroo
Inspired by the biomimetic robot models that Disney uses to animate realistic animals, the goal of this project was to create an autonomous kangaroo robot that could efficiently and reliably cross a rough paved surface with the unique pentapedal gait of a kangaroo. Our top priorities were to achieve a realistic speed and to time the legs and tail as closely as possible to the actual gait of a kangaroo.
The final design for our robot, nicknamed Rainbow Roo for our choice in duct tape, uses a pin-slot mechanism on each of the robot’s legs to create coupler curves that successfully mimic kangaroo foot rotation. As each foot strikes the ground, it slows and the coupler curve flattens to ensure stable contact with the ground. On the lift and return, the coupler curve makes a fast arc back to its contact point. The front two legs are in phase, as well as the back two, while the tail is slightly offset in order to mimic the pentapedal gait of a kangaroo. The kangaroo runs on a Tamiya 6-Speed high efficiency gearbox and DC motor operating with a 196:1 gear ratio on a battery-supplied voltage of 2.5V.
To read our full report, prepared for ME 112: Mechanical Systems Design in the fall of 2015, please click here.