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Proximal Actuation of an Elastically Loaded Scissors Mechanism for the Leg Design of a Quadruped Robot

Nizami, Muhammad Hamza Asif and Shah, Zaid Ahsan and Ayaz, Yasar and Khan, Muhammad Jawad and Ali, Sara and Naveed, Muhammad and Akhtar, Khalid and Dancey, Darren and Nawaz, Raheel (2020) Proximal Actuation of an Elastically Loaded Scissors Mechanism for the Leg Design of a Quadruped Robot. IEEE Access, 8. pp. 208240-208252.

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Abstract

Spring Loaded Pantographs (SLPs) are frequently used in designing lightweight limbs for multi-legged robots. Quadruped robots that incorporate cable-pulled SLP legs have proven to be agile, robust and capable of conserving energy during their gait cycle. In such designs, the extension of the distal segments via the knee joint is dependent upon the length of the cable. In this article we propose the use of an Elastically Loaded Scissors Mechanism (ELS Mechanism or ELSM), which is a variant of the SLP. Driven by ’pulling’ onto the proximal joint of the scissors as opposed to the distal joint, this proposed leg utilizes the increased mechanical advantage of the scissors mechanism to ’amplify’ input angles to larger output displacement by the knee joint. Analysis and Simulations reveal that the proposed mechanism achieves increased motion speed as compared to the SLP mechanism. This, however, comes at the cost of higher load on the actuator which serves as an engineering trade-off. This is validated by experimentation using motion capture and load motor techniques of the SLP and ELS configurations in a physical quadruped robot.

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