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Legged Robots

Legged robotics is a new area of research that we have been building up within our group since 2012. The aim of our research is to develop the modelling, control, sensing and navigation capabilities for autonomous systems capable of traversing extreme environments (uneven, unstructured, unstable and otherwise difficult terrain, multi-type terrain) and complex confined spaces (industrial structures, underground structures) with the goal of providing remote in-situ sensing, mapping, sample acquisition and actuation.

Our research focuses on small to medium scale legged robots that are designed for outdoor and/or confined space environments,  large scale ultra-light robots and evolutionary computing applied to legged locomotion.  What makes Data61’s legged robots  are unique:

  • Our 30 DoF hexapod robot is a first of its kind in the world with the capability to traverse uneven terrain and inclines up to 30 degrees (static stability up to 50 degrees) in any body orientation without any exteroceptive sensing.
  • Hexapod robot with electromagnetic feet is unique in its ability to traverse steep gradients and maintain traction on vertical or fully inverted ferromagnetic surfaces.
  • The first research group in the world to use proprioceptive joint error measurements to do highly accurate ground cover classification using an articulated legged robot.
  • Developed a 18 DoF robot with the compact series elastic actuators which surpasses the state of the art in angular deflection range and linearity in response.

Data61 have  also designed and implemented the world’s first test-bed for evolving legged robot controllers in hardware, capable of perpetual operation with inbuilt error reporting, data logging, experiment scheduling and behaviour monitoring.