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Steerable vertical to horizontal energy transducer for mobile robots

United States Patent

October 30, 2001
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Sandia National Laboratories - Visit the Intellectual Property Management and Licensing Website
Autonomous Combustion-Powered Hopping Robot
The present invention provides a steerable vertical to horizontal energy transducer for mobile robots that less complex and requires less power than two degree of freedom tilt mechanisms. The present invention comprises an end effector that, when mounted with a hopping actuator, translates along axis (typically vertical) actuation into combined vertical and horizontal motion. The end effector, or foot, mounts with an end of the actuator that moves toward the support surface (typically a floor or the earth). The foot is shaped so that the first contact with the support surface is off the axis of the actuator. Off-axis contact with the support surface generates an on-axis force (typically resulting in vertical motion) and a moment orthogonal to the axis. The moment initiates a horizontal tumbling motion, and tilts the actuator so that its axis is oriented with a horizontal component and continued actuation generates both vertical and horizontal force.
Spletzer; Barry L. (Albuquerque, NM), Fischer; Gary J. (Albuquerque, NM), Feddema; John T. (Albuquerque, NM)
Sandia Corporation (Albuquerque, NM)
09/ 306,674
May 6, 1999
This invention was made with Government support under Contract DE-AC04-94AL85000 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in the invention.