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Goat Robot Leg Demonstrates Explosive Jumping

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The GOAT robot leg at rest, left, and leaping to more than twice its own height.

Simon Kalouche at Carnegie Mellon University is working on a new design for robots: the Gearless Omni-directional Accelaeration-vectoring Topology robot leg.

Credit: Simon Kalouche/Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University's Simon Kalouche is developing a new design for legs that would enable a robot to navigate the terrain a goat typically traverses.

The Gearless Omni-directional Acceleration-vectoring Topology (GOAT) leg would be "capable of dexterous walking, running, and most significantly, explosive omni-directional jumping and actively compliant landing," Kalouche says.

The GOAT leg is intended for highly unstructured terrains that are often impassible to wheeled vehicles and existing legged robots, as well as terrain featuring obstacles of large and steep variations in ground elevation. The GOAT leg also will be able to navigate pits, holes, ditches, local cavities, and tight and compact spaces, where turning or reorienting to then walk or jump is not possible or ideal.

In addition, the leg is designed for long-distance missions over diverse terrains, where different gaits or modes of locomotion can improve mobility, efficiency, and longevity. The GOAT leg is not constrained to planar motions, which makes it easier to move in different directions without having to reorient.

After determining optimal leg hardware, Kalouche will mount the various components and conduct experiments in three-dimensional space. He then plans to integrate the GOAT leg into monopods, bipeds, tripods, and quadrupeds.

From IEEE Spectrum
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