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The jumping locomotion can be quite a useful way for ground robots because it can provide a high locomotion speed and energy efficiency. We report in this paper the design, simulation, and preliminary experimental results of a jumping robot that is 150 mm long. The robot design is inspired by the structure of vertebrates' musculoskeletal system and the function of muscles that are used for the jumping motion. A few essential muscles are applied to our robot in the form of shape memory alloy (SMA) wires. The jumping motion of a computer model is simulated to find a suitable pattern of SMA wire activation. The parameters obtained from the simulation are applied to a robot prototype in experiments. Experimental results show that the forward distance obtained from the jumping experiment is comparable to the simulation result.
Date of Conference: 18-22 Oct. 2010