Natural Dynamics Modification for Energy Efficiency: A Data-driven Parallel Compliance Design Method

M Khoramshahi, A Parsa, A Ijspeert, M Nili Ahmadabadi
(2014) International Conference on Robotics and Automation (IROS)

We present a data-driven method for designing parallel compliance. Designing such compliance helps the system to improve energy efficiency, mainly by reducing negative work. The core idea is to design a controller first and then find springs working in parallel with each actuator such that force-displacement graph is lined up around displacement axis. By doing so, we simply shape the natural dynamics for performing the task efficiently. Maximum torque reduction for actuators is a byproduct of this design method. The method can be used in different cyclic robotic application, especially in legged locomotion systems. In this paper, we design a spinal compliance for a bounding quadruped robot in Webots. The results show that the power consumption and the maximum torque are reduced significantly.