Honors College Thesis


Active Control of Passive Dynamics for Ground Disturbance Rejection Public Deposited

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  • We present a model for running that combines active control with passive dynamics, in an attempt to approach the economy and robustness of animal running. Our work is inspired by examples of guinea fowl encountering an unexpected drop in ground surface, with little a ect on their running gait. Previous investigations have shown that the steady-state center-of-mass motion of animal running and walking may be approximated by a mass bouncing upon a spring, but this approximation does not incorporate disturbance rejection. To approach the robustness of animal running, we add a motor in series with our spring, and use it for closed-loop force control. The active controller maintains the force pro le of the vertically hopping spring-mass model in the presence of disturbances, while the series spring does the majority of the mechnical work, maintaining the economy of the purely passive spring-mass system. We show in simulation that our force-controlled model is more resilient to ground disturbances that a ect the center-of-mass trajectory, toe-force pro le and hopping frequency than the uncontrolled model.
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