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Ingenuity Labs Guest Lecture: Alexander Badri-Spröwitz: An emu-inspired robot with mechanical joint coordination and toe

Friday, April 29, 2022
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM

An emu-inspired robot with mechanical joint coordination and toe-triggered clutching action for energy efficient legged locomotion (BirdBot robot)

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In nature, we observe gigantism in legged animals, for example in extinct bipedal animals such as the t-rex dinosaur. The fact that biped animals with multiple tons bodyweight walked across earth proves to us that legged locomotion - also legged robot locomotion - has at least one solution that is scalable to large body sizes and weights. The engineering of legged robots is challenging; we design mechanisms that are energy-efficient, lightweight, carry high loads, and function robustly during numerous operational cycles. Ideally, the mechanical design supports simple control. If we aim to build robots that support us in our every day, we need to improve the energy efficiency and scalability of existing leg designs. Legged robots' actuators draw power when loads change rapidly to support the robot’s mass during stance, and when cycling the leg’s state between stance and swing phases. Here, we demonstrate an emu- and ostrich-inspired robot leg design, BirdBot.


Alexander Badri-Spröwitz researches bioinspired legged locomotion.  Alexander leads the research group 'Dynamic Locomotion' at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart, Germany.

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