This is my project for the CIT Honors Research Program. From my work on this project, I was awarded the "Excellence in Undergraduate Research" Award at Commencement.
I was part of the CMU Robomechanics Lab ( https://www.cmu.edu/me/robomechanicslab/ ) during the 2017-2018 Academic Year. I worked with my professor, Aaron Johnson, and lab-mate, Praxis Bayes.
We were inspired by mountain goats and their great maneuverability on mountainous terrain. We focused on studying the mechanics of their lower limb, specifically of their hooves. We worked on designing mechanical hooves that conform to steep and uneven surfaces, and experimented with material, geometry, and fabrication methods
The Big Question:
How can we improve the mobility of legged robots on steep and rocky surfaces?
To understand the principles underlying improved mobility on steep and rocky terrain.
Focus: Mechanics of the Feet.
The "Minitaur," a 4-legged robot developed by Ghost Robotics was used as a testing platform.
Research: Anatomy of Goat Hooves
The Hoof body was printed using the Form 2 3D Printer, and the sole was cast.
Fabricated from bending spring steel rods.
This new design replaces the Minitaur's original Rubber Stub Feet.
We can see here that the ankle and hoof allows the feet to conform to irregularities in the surface by improving surface compliance and grip.