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Disney’s one-legged untethered hopping robot

October 12, 2016
The Disney hopping robot in action (Credit: Disney Research)
The Disney hopping robot in action (Credit: Disney Research)

Disney Research presents their design and control for an untethered, energetically autonomous single-legged hopping robot. While this isn’t the first hopping robot to be built, it is the first not to rely on a tether or external power source for its hopping.

From their website:

“The thrust-producing mechanism of the robot’s leg is an actuated prismatic joint, called a linear elastic actuator in parallel (LEAP). The LEAP mechanism comprises of a voice-coil actuator in parallel with two compression springs, which gives our robot passive compliance. An actuated gimbal hip joint is realized by two standard servomotors.”

Diagram of the Disney hopping robot (Credit: Disney Research)
Diagram of the Disney hopping robot (Credit: Disney Research)

The researchers adapted a Raibert’s hopping controller to control the robot and found it could maintain balance in place for up to 7 seconds, or 19 hops, while continuously hopping.

Here are a few more pictures of the hopping robot:

The Disney hopping robot is the first built since 2007 (Credit: Disney Research)
The Disney hopping robot is the first built since 2007 (Credit: Disney Research)
Robot's leg (Credit: Disney Research)
Robot’s leg (Credit: Disney Research)
Robot's control unit (Credit: Disney Research)
Robot’s control unit (Credit: Disney Research)

Download the paper here or visit the Disney Research website.

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