Posted in: SERVO Blog (11/21 at 02:59 PM)

RoboTerp: A Compliance Assisted Quadrupedal Amphibious Robot (UMD Robotics)

This video shows RoboTerp, a quadrupedal amphibious robot, in which the same legs that achieve locomotion on land using one gait, also provide propulsion in water by switching to a different gait. The central idea hinges on a passive compliance attached to the lower leg that enables it to behave like a valve during movement in water. The direction of this valve-like mechanism is aligned such that rhythmic oscillations of the legs generate a net thrust that propels the robot forward in water. By design, this oscillatory leg movement achieves splash-free swimming, and thereby overcomes the shortcomings of most previous wheel-leg based designs, in which rotational movement causes water splashing that leads to significant turbulence in the robot surroundings.

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