Meeting Abstract

72.6  Saturday, Jan. 5  Rapid Terrestrial Turning in Robots Using Tails Inspired from Lizards KOHUT, N. K.*; ZARROUK, D.; PULLIN, A. O.; HALDANE , D. W.; FEARING, R. S.; University of California, Berkeley; University of California, Berkeley; University of California, Berkeley; University of California, Berkeley; University of California, Berkeley kohut@berkeley.edu

Rapid Terrestrial Turning in Robots Using Tails Inspired from Lizards. KOHUT, N.*; ZARROUK, D.; PULLIN, A. O.; HALDANE. D.W.; FEARING, R.S. Univ. of California Berkeley kohut@berkeley.edu Rapid turning in animals is an essential behavior for both predators and prey. For maximum maneuverability, terrestrial robots need effective turning as well. Previous efforts at turning in legged robots primarily have used leg impulses and have not been biologically inspired. We have developed a 45 gram legged robot, similar in scale to a small lizard we call TAYLRoACH - TAYL for Tail Actuated Yaw Locomotion. Our tailed robot was able to make rapid, precise turns using only the actuation of a tail appendage. By rapidly rotating the tail as the robot runs forward, the robot was able to make 90° turns at 400 ° sec -1 with almost no change in its running speed of 32 cm sec-1. We have also modeled the dynamics of this phenomenon, allowing us to examine what features, such as tail length, mass, and location, affect the amount and rate of turning possible. To our knowledge, this approach has produced turns that are more rapid than any method previously demonstrated in legged robots and, along with the developed model, could give insight into how animals turn quickly and precisely, and further inform biomechanists why certain morphologies may be advantageous.