Milestones in the Development of Legged Robots
- 1836 Weber and Weber:
- Measurements in corpses show that natural frequency of leg when swinging as compound
pendulum is similar to cadence in live walking.
- 1850 Chebyshev:
- Designs straight-line linkage used in early walking mechanism (Lucas 1894).
- 1872 Muybridge:
- Develops stop-motion photography to document running animals.
- 1893 Rygg:
- Patents human-powered mechanical horse.
- 1945 Wallace:
- Patents hopping tank with reaction wheels that provide stability.
- 1961 Space General:
- Eight-legged linkage machine walks in outdoor terrain (Morrison 1968).
- 1963 Cannon, Higdon:
- Control system balances single, double, and limber inverted pendulums.
- 1968 Frank and McGhee:
- Shift-register logic controls walking of Phony Pony.
- 1968 Mosher:
- GE quadruped truck climbs railroad ties under control of human driver.
- 1969 Bucyrus-Erie Co.:
- Big Muskie, a 15,000 ton walking dragline is used for strip mining. It moves in soft
terrain at a speed of 900 ft/hr (Sitek 1976).
- 1977 McGhee:
- Digital computer coordinates leg motions of hexapod robot walks with wave gait using
digital computer to coordinate leg motion.
- 1977 Gurfinkel:
- Hybrid computer controls hexapod walker in USSR.
- 1977 McMahon and Greene:
- Human runners set new speed records on tuned track at Harvard. Its compliance is
adjusted to mechanics of human leg.
- 1980 Hirose and Umetani:
- Quadruped machine climbs stairs and climbs over obstacles using simple sensors and
reflex-like control. The leg mechanism simplifies control.
- 1980 Kato:
- Hydraulic biped walks with quasidynamic gait.
- 1980 Matsuoka:
- Mechanism balances in the plane while hopping on one leg.
- 1981 Miura and Shimoyama:
- Biped balances actively while walking in three dimensional space.
- 1983 Sutherland:
- Self-contained hexapod carries human rider. Computer, hydraulics, and human share
- 1983 Odetics:
- Self-contained hexapod lifts and moves back end of pickup truck (Russell 1983).
- 1983 Raibert:
- One-legged machine hops in place, travels at a specified rate, keeps its balance when
disturbed, and jumps over small obstacles.
- 1984 Furusho:
- Planar five-link biped starts walking from a standing position, and travels at 0.8 m/s.
- 1987 Waldron and McGhee:
- Three-ton self-contained hexapod carrying human driver travels at 5 mph, travels in
irregular terrain, and pulls a load.
- 1988 Hodgins and Koechling:
- Planar biped climbs short stairway, jumps over obstacles, and sets speed record of 13.1
- 1989 Raibert:
- Quadruped runs with trotting, pacing, and bounding gaits, and changes between gaits.
- 1990 McGeer:
- Planar biped with knees walks passively down sloping surface.
- 1991 Raibert:
- 3D Biped travels around laboratory.
- 1992 Playter:
- 3D Biped does 3D somersault.
- 1994 LegLab & 20th Century Fox:
- 3D Biped and Uniroo appear in Rising Sun with Sean Connery and Wesley Snipes.
- 1996 Leeser:
- Planar Quadruped runns with articulated spine.
- 1997 Honda:
- Honda Motor Company announces its bipedal walking project which has resulted in an
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