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research-article

AUTOMATED SYNTHESIS OF PASSIVE DYNAMIC BRACHIATING ROBOTS USING A SIMULATION-DRIVEN GRAPH GRAMMAR METHOD

[+] Author and Article Information
Fritz Stoeckli

Engineering Design and Computing Laboratory, Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering, ETH Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland
sfritz@ethz.ch

Kristina Shea

Engineering Design and Computing Laboratory, Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering, ETH Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland
kshea@ethz.ch

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4037245 History: Received October 28, 2016; Revised June 14, 2017

Abstract

Passive dynamic systems have the advantage over conventional robotic systems that they do not require actuators and control. Brachiating, in particular, involves the swinging motion of an animal from one branch to the next. Such systems are usually designed manually by human designers and often are bio-inspired. However, a computational design approach has the capability to search vast design spaces and find solutions that go beyond those possible by manual design. This paper addresses the automated design of passive dynamic systems by introducing a graph grammar based method that integrates dynamic simulation to evaluate and evolve configurations. In particular, the method is shown to find different, new solutions to the problem of the design of two-dimensional passive, dynamic, continuous contact, brachiating robots. The presented graph grammar rules preserve symmetry among robot topologies. A separation of parametric multi-objective optimization and topologic synthesis is proposed, considering four objectives: number of successful swings, deviation from cyclic motion, required space and number of bodies. The results show that multiple solutions with varying complexity are found that trade-off cyclic motion and the space required. Compared to research on automated design synthesis of actuated and controlled robotic systems, this paper contributes a new method for passive dynamic systems that integrates dynamic simulation.

Copyright (c) 2017 by ASME
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