(Fall 2013)

In the Fall of 2013, I took MIT's 2.12, Introduction to Robotics, taught by Professor Harry Asada. Each year, the class is geared towards completing a final project with a small group and competing against other groups at the end of the semester. This year's theme was "Bipedal Motion", and the competition involved developing an assisted-walking robot that could be strapped onto a lifeless mannequin, allowing it to walk. Here are the results. We employed a passive-dynamic walking technique in which the hips and ankles are actuated, and the knee is allowed to swing freely during the beginning of a step and then locks in place right before the leg hits the ground. This is very similar to how humans walk and we found it to be quite effective. We used doorlock actuators from a car to lock the knee in place. Also note that our robot does not balance on its own and needs to be constrained from rotating. It can however move up and down in its supports. We ended up coming in 5th place out of 10 for this competition.

We also prepared a final presentation which goes into much more detail about what is going on. Enjoy!