Untethered One-Legged Hopping in 3D Using Linear Elastic Actuator in Parallel (LEAP)

Zachary Batts, Joohyung Kim, Katsu Yamane

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Current and previous single-legged hopping robots are energetically tethered and lack portability. Here, we present the design and control of an untethered, energetically autonomous single-legged hopping robot. The thrust-producing mechanism of the robot’s leg is an actuated prismatic joint, called a linear elastic actuator in parallel (LEAP). The LEAP mechanism comprises a voice coil actuator in parallel with two compression springs, which gives our robot passive compliance. An actuated gimbal hip joint is realized by two standard servomotors. To control the robot, we adapt Raibert’s hopping controller, and find we can maintain balance roughly in-place for up to approx. 7 s (19 hops) while continuously hopping.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2016 International Symposium on Experimental Robotics
EditorsDana Kulić, Yoshihiko Nakamura, Oussama Khatib, Gentiane Venture
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-50115-4
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-50114-7
StatePublished - Mar 21 2017
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameSpringer Proceedings in Advanced Robotics
ISSN (Print)2511-1256
ISSN (Electronic)2511-1264


  • hopper
  • legged-locomotion
  • spring-mass
  • parallel elastic actuator
  • voice coil actuator


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