built by Willad MacDonald

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Target Environment Locomotion Method
Outdoors, all terrain 4 Legs
Sensors / Input Devices Actuators / Output Devices
IR proximity detectors
Joint position sensors
Joint Torque sensors
12 Futaba servos
Control Method Power Source
Autonomous Battery
CPU Type Operating System
Motorola HC11 None
Programming Lanuage Weight
C 2Kg
Time to build Cost to build
URL for more information
Thing is a four legged, twelve degree of freedom walking robot designed for research in autonomous locomotion over irregular terrain. It is controlled by five 6811 microcontrollers connected in a serial star network. Thing stands 23 cm tall.

We use a distributed control approach to legged locomotion that constructs behavior on-line by activating combinations of reusable feedback control laws drawn from a control basis. Sequences of such controller activations result in flexible aperiodic step sequences based on local sensory information. Different tasks are achieved by varying the composition functions over the same basis controllers, rather than by geometric planning of leg placements or the design of new task-specific behaviors. In addition, the device-independent nature of the control basis allows its generalization not only over task domains, but also over different hardware platforms.

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