Updated: Jan 2, 2022
Recently, Professor Mike McCarthy and his students from UC Irvine have been developing walking robots with legs that have only a single degree of freedom. This means that it will only take a single input to cause the leg mechanism to move. Take a look at these student projects here. These projects have inspired me to take a look at my Ph.D. research from 2015.
About 5 years ago for my Ph.D. research, I developed a mechanism to mimic human walking with only a single input. At the time, my motivation for this project was to create an exoskeleton device to be used in rehabilitation settings for stroke and spinal cord patients. I used motion capture data from an able bodied test subject to determine a desired trajectory for my linkage. I then used a number kinematic synthesis and optimization methods to arrive at the solution below.
If you're interested in a little "light" reading, here are the links to my dissertation and papers on the subject:
The design has remained unchanged since 2015, and I haven't pursued this mechanism in the rehabilitation space. However, scaled down properly, this linkage design has the potential to be used as a leg mechanism for walking robots, similar to the ones at mechanicaldesign101.com.
In the future, I hope to scale down my walking mechanism and getting it moving with a small, electric motor.
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