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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.

Projects

Related papers

  • Alberto Elfes, Ryan James Steindl, Fletcher Talbot, Farid Kendoul, Pavan Sikka, Tom Lowe, Navinda Kottege, Marko Bjelonic, Ross Dungavell, Tirthankar Bandyopadhyay, Marcus Hoerger, Benjamin Tam, David Rytz (2017),The Multilegged Autonomous eXplorer (MAX), In proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Robots and Automation (ICRA 2017), Singapore, May 2017.
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  • Marko Bjelonic, Timon Homberger, Navinda Kottege, Paulo Borges, Margarita Chli, Philipp Beckerle, (2017), Autonomous Navigation of Hexapod Robots With Vision-based  Controller Adaptation, In proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Robots and Automation (ICRA 2017), Singapore, May 2017.
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  • Huub Heijnen, David Howard, Navinda Kottege, (2017), A Testbed that Evolves Hexapod Controllers in Hardware, In proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Robots and Automation (ICRA 2017), Singapore, May 2017.
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  • Dylan Williamson, Navinda Kottege, & Peyman Moghadam, (2016), Terrain Characterisation and Gait Adaptation by a Hexa-pod Robot. In proceedings of the Australasian Conference on Robotics & Automation (ACRA 2016), Brisbane, QLD.
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  • Benjamin Tam & Navinda Kottege, (2016), Fall Avoidance and Recovery for Bipedal Robots using Walking Sticks. In proceedings of the Australasian Conference on Robotics & Automation (ACRA 2016), Brisbane, QLD.
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  • Marko Bjelonic, Navinda Kottege, & Philipp Beckerle, (2016), Proprioceptive Control of an Over-Actuated Hexapod Robot in Unstructured Terrain, In proceedings of the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2016), Daejeon, Korea, October, 2016.
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  • Timon Homberger, Marko Bjelonic, Navinda Kottege, & Paulo Borges, (2016), Terrain-dependant Control of Hexapod Robots using Vision, In proceedings of the International Symposium on Experimental Robotics (ISER 2016), Tokyo, Japan, October 2016.
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  • Joshua Christie and Navinda Kottege, (2016), Acoustics based Terrain Classification for Legged Robots. In proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2016), Stockholm, Sweden, May, 2016
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  • Navinda Kottege, Callum Parkinson, Peyman Moghadam, Alberto Elfes & Surya P. N. Singh (2015), Energetics-Informed Hexapod Gait Transitions. In proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2015), Seattle, WA, USA, May 26-30, 2015
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  • Marcus Hoerger, Navinda Kottege, Tirthankar Bandyopadhyay, Alberto Elfes & Peyman Moghadam (2014), Real-time Stabilisation for Hexapod Robots. In proceedings of the International Symposium on Experimental Robotics (ISER 2014), Marrakech and Essaouira, Morocco, June 15-18, 2014
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  • Graeme Best, Peyman Moghadam, Navinda Kottege, & Lindsay Kleeman (2013), Terrain Classification Using a Hexapod Robot. In proceedings of the Australasian Conference on Robotics and Automation 2013 (ACRA ’13), Sydney, Australia, December 2013. ISBN: 978-0-9807404-4-8
    [Abstract][Paper]