To date, many gait generation strategies have been designed for robots with leg configurations that model those of natural creatures. However, their leg configurations are limited to the 2 × N type, such as hexapod or myriapod; hence, simultaneously, the potential ability of legged robots is implicitly limited. We consider single-legged modular robots that can be arranged to form a cluster with arbitrary 2-D leg configurations. By choosing configurations appropriately, these robots have the potential to perform several types of tasks, as is the case for reconfigurable modular robots. However, to use appropriate configurations for a given task, a unified gait generation system for various configurations of a cluster is required. In this article, we propose an autonomous distributed control system for each single-legged modular robot to collectively achieve static walking of the cluster with various leg configurations on planar ground. Moreover, our system is an autonomous distributed system with scalability and fault tolerance, in which each module determines the moving pattern of its foot through local communication without global information, such as the entire leg configuration of the cluster. We verified that several types of clusters achieved static walking using our system not only in dynamic simulations, but also in real robot experiments.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Control and Systems Engineering
- Computer Science Applications
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering