A Small, Pneumatic Walking Robot

The goal of the Boadicea project was to build a small walking robot with better mechanical performance than previous small robots.

Boadicea is a six-legged, pneumatically powered walking robot. The pneumatic actuation system provides lightweight, powerful actuators. The robot's mechanical structure is a lightweight frame built from carbon fiber and aluminum tubing and injection molded plastic. Preliminary results indicate that Boadicea walks faster, and can carry more payload, than previous small walkers.

Boadicea has six legs powered by compressed air at 100 psi. The rear and middle legs have three degrees of freedom (DOFs) each while the front legs each have two DOFs. The robot's 16 actuators are controlled with solenoid poppet valves by a 68332 microprocessor. Pressure sensors and potentiometers (one each per DOF) measure leg position and loading.

The robot's mechanics are modeled after a cockroach, Blaberus Discoidalis. Like real insects, Boadicea's front, middle, and rear legs are all different, and the legs have large, overlapping workspaces. Each leg uses a pantograph mechanism to produce Cartesian foot motions.

[Fluid Power] [Materials & Construction] [Biological Inspirations]
[Leg Design] [Sensors & Electronics] [Control System]
[Results] [Conclusions]
[Photos & Video] [Papers] [Related Web sites]

Mike Binnard