VelociRoACH: Passive aerodynamic stabilization of a high-speed hexapedal running robot


The VelociRoACH is a 10 cm long, 30 g hexapedal millirobot capable of running at 2.7 m/s, making it the fastest legged robot built to date, relative to scale. Designed by Duncan Haldane, dynamic similarity scaling along with advancements in cardboard SCM design techniques enable the high performance of this robot. As the scale of robots decreases, the rotational dynamics of the system become critical for stability. As such, a new method of experimental dynamic tuning was developed that aims to find stable limit cycles with minimal rotational energy. The addition of an aerodynamic damper reduces the rotational energy of the system, and demonstrates that lower rotational energy limit cycles are more robust to disturbances.

For additional details, see our ICRA 2013 paper - Animal-inspired Design and Aerodynamic Stabilization of a Hexapedal Millirobot.