International Applied Mechanics

, Volume 44, Issue 7, pp 830–837 | Cite as

Treadmill walking of the pneumatic biped Lucy: Walking at different speeds and step-lengths

  • B. Vanderborght
  • B. Verrelst
  • R. Van Ham
  • M. Van Damme
  • R. Versluys
  • D. Lefeber


Actuators with adaptable compliance are gaining interest in the field of legged robotics due to their capability to store motion energy and to exploit the natural dynamics of the system to reduce energy consumption while walking and running. To perform research on compliant actuators we have built the planar biped Lucy. The robot has six actuated joints, the ankle, knee and hip of both legs with each joint powered by two pleated pneumatic artificial muscles in an antagonistic setup. This makes it possible to control both the torque and the stiffness of the joint. Such compliant actuators are used in passive walkers to overcome friction when walking over level ground and to improve stability. Typically, this kind of robots is only designed to walk with a constant walking speed and step-length, determined by the mechanical design of the mechanism and the properties of the ground. In this paper, we show that by an appropriate control, the robot Lucy is able to walk at different speeds and step-lengths and that adding and releasing weights does not affect the stability of the robot. To perform these experiments, an automated treadmill was built


bipedal walking robot pneumatic artificial muscle 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Vanderborght
    • 1
    • 2
  • B. Verrelst
    • 1
    • 2
  • R. Van Ham
    • 1
    • 2
  • M. Van Damme
    • 1
    • 2
  • R. Versluys
    • 1
    • 2
  • D. Lefeber
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringVrije Universiteit BrusselBrusslesBelgium
  2. 2.Italian Instutute of Techology, Robotics, Brain and Cognitive SciencesGenoaItaly

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