Toward Mission Capable Legged Robots through Biological Inspiration

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Insects provide good models for the design and control of mission capable legged robots. We are using intelligent biological inspiration to extract the features important for locomotion from insect neuromechanical designs and implement them into legged robots. Each new model in our series of robots represents an advance in agility, strength, or energy efficiency, which are all important for performing missions. Robot IV is being constructed with a cockroach mechanical design. It features a lightweight exoskeleton structure and McKibben artificial muscles for passive joint stiffness. Our self-contained microrobot has rear legs that are inspired by cricket. Its diminutive size required us to custom fabricate almost all of its parts, including its McKibben actuators.

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