Legged Locomotion Research
- Quadruped Locomotion on Rough Terrain (LittleDog). The
following videos show highlights from our work on LittleDog - a
small quadrupedal robot built by Boston Dynamics for the
DARPA Learning Locomotion program.
- Rimless Wheel. One of the simplest models of `walking',
the following videos show the dynamics of a rimless wheel rolling downhill.
- Compass Gait.
- Learning to Walk (Toddler). The following video shows
research highlights from Toddler, a simple 3D dynamic biped that was
able to quickly and reliably learn to walk. The beginning of the
video demonstrates the robot's ability to walk passively downhill on
a treadmill with the computer turned off. The robot was then placed
on flat terrain with the computer switched on, and tasked with
acquiring the same gait without assistance from gravity, but rather
by learning a feedback controller. This learning occurred in less
than 20 minutes, using only trials implemented on the real robot (no
simulations). The learning algorithm continues to quickly adapt as
the robot walks over different terrain.
- The Perching Glider. This video describes our glider (no
propellors) landing on a perch. The glider initially flies toward the perch at
high speed, and must then decelerate quickly to land on a wire.
The entire trajectory is just under 1 second; the video includes
high-speed video footage of the maneuver. For more info see the
- Robotic Birds.
The first video shows the first flight of one of our robotic birds
(piloted by a human). This bird was built in our lab, but is a
replica of a hobbyist ornithopter designed by Sean Kinkade. The
second video shows a slow-motion shot of the flapping, which reveals
the complicated interaction between the flexible wing and the
surrounding flow. The third video shows the first autonomous flight
of our Phoenix ornithopter - a substantially redesigned machine with
onboard sensing and computation.
- The Flapping Plate. The following video shows our
experiments on an apparatus built by collaborator Jun Zhang at NYU. The
experiment uses a symmetric flat plate as the simplest model of a
flapping wing, and this video shows a variant with a flexible
trailing edge. Using policy gradient learning run directly in the
real experiment (no models), we have designed a control system
which can achieve both higher speeds and a higher energy effectiveness than the initial sinusoidal gait.
- 6.095 -
Humanoid Robotics Competition. This class allows MIT
students to assemble and program a small humanoid robot (KHR-2HV,
sold by Kondo) during IAP (less than a month). The challenges are
to walk on the flat, walk up stairs and to fight other robots (last
robot standing wins). Below are videos of some of the best walking
gaits obtained so far.