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Undergraduate Research Project Management System

Quadrupedal Walker (Phase I of III)

Status Current
Seeking Researchers No
Start Date 11/01/2010
End Date 06/30/2011
Funding Source Alex Hills Engineering Research Award
Funding Amount 2,000
Community Partner
Related Course
Last Updated 03/01/2011 11:23PM
Keywords robot, quadruped


  Sam Cook, Todd Petersen

Student Researchers
  Jens Jensen


Robotics is a relatively new and fast growing industry with many different opportunities and fields of study. One such filed is the research and development of Bipedal and Quadrupedal Walkers (QPW). These amazing machines have the potential to revolutionize the way we conduct remote exploration, natural disaster relief and more. Traditionally tracked vehicles have been leading the way in such applications, but this is changing fast. With the many different QPW designs one challenge we see most prevalent is the inability for these walkers to traverse rough and uneven terrain. Some have found even through serial actuation of rotary motors and the implementation of a toe and foot joints it is still difficult to implement such activity because of the high torque generated by the loading weight of the body. This problem can be solved by implementing a self stabilizing ankle that will give any such walker the ability to evenly distribute the mass load and maintain balance while navigating extreme conditions. With this in mind we have begun conceptual designs of an ankle and plan to take this design and implement it on a larger project called "Big Bear", which was inspired by "Big Dog" a QPW developed by Boston Dynamics ( as shown in Figure 1)knowledge required to complete this project will include Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Computer Systems Engineering, and Mathematics. The goal for the 2010-2011 school year is to complete an ankle assembly capable of self stabilization.

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