Design of Robot Leg with Variable Reduction Ratio Crossed Four-bar Linkage Mechanism.


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Generally, large knee joint torque is required when a leg is flexed. However, the large torque motor will increase the robot size and total weight. Also, a large reduction ratio gear box to realize the large torque will decrease output speed and lower backdrivability of the joint. It makes the robot difficult to perform agile and flexible motion like animals. In this paper, we propose a robot leg with a knee joint mechanism consisting of a variable reduction ratio crossed four-bar linkage mechanism (VRRCFLM) based on cruciate ligament of an animal. The VRRCFLM is to increase the reduction ratio for large knee flexion postures without greatly reducing the total backdrivability. In this paper, we developed a robot leg with a knee joint mechanism consisting of the VRRCFLM. In order to design the link parameters of the leg mechanism, optimization design aimed at maximizing the jumping height of the robot was performed. The robot model with the designed mechanism was evaluated through the dynamics simulations. Thanks to the VRRCFLM, the required torque of the knee motor at the large flexion postures was decreased. Moreover, the vertical jumping height was improved by 24.6 % comparing with a model without the mechanism. In experiments using the prototype, the required static torque was decreased as in simulation, and the jumping height was more than one leg length.
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