Task-based limb optimization for legged robots

Sehoon Ha, Stelian Coros, Alexander Alspach, Joohyung Kim, Katsu Yamane

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The design of legged robots is often inspired by animals evolved to excel at different tasks. However, while mimicking morphological features seen in nature can be very powerful, robots may need to perform motor tasks that their living counterparts do not. In the absence of designs that can be mimicked, an alternative is to resort to mathematical models that allow the relationship between a robot's form and function to be explored. In this paper, we propose such a model to codesign the motion and leg configurations of a robot such that a measure of performance is optimized. The framework begins by planning trajectories for a simplified model consisting of the center of mass and feet. The framework then optimizes the length of each leg link while solving for associated full-body motions. Our model was successfully used to find optimized designs for legged robots performing tasks that include jumping, walking, and climbing up a step. Although our results are preliminary and our analysis makes a number of simplifying assumptions, our findings indicate that the cost function, the sum of squared joint torques over the duration of a task, varies substantially as the design parameters change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIROS 2016 - 2016 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781509037629
StatePublished - Nov 28 2016
Externally publishedYes
Event2016 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS 2016 - Daejeon, Korea, Republic of
Duration: Oct 9 2016Oct 14 2016

Publication series

NameIEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems
ISSN (Print)2153-0858
ISSN (Electronic)2153-0866


Other2016 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS 2016
Country/TerritoryKorea, Republic of

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Software
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Science Applications


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