Hybrid Dynamic Systems and Robot Locomotion Laboratory

Department of Mechanical Engineering

Virginia Tech

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Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Vision 60

The HDSRL lab has two very advanced 3D quadruped robots, referred to as  Vision 60, designed and manufactured by Ghost Robotics. Vision 60 is a mid-sized tele-op and autonomous all-terrain ground drone. It weighs approximately 32 kg. Vision 60 has 18 DOFs of which 12 leg DOFs are actuated. The robot can transverse a range of unstructured terrains and substrates.

We call these robots Balto (the gray robot) and Togo (the silver robot). Balto and Togo were the hero sled dogs who led their teams on 1925 serum run to Nome to transport diphtheria antitoxin to save the town and surrounding communities from an epidemic. 

Minitaur

The HDSRL lab also includes Minitaur, designed and manufactured by Ghost Robotics. Minitaur is a 6.5 kg 2-DOF leg 8-motor (2 per hip) quadrupedal robot platform. The high-torque brushless motors, high-resolution encoders, and specialized leg design let Minitaur run and jump over difficult terrain. 2DOF legs are good for more than just running, they can sense and exert precise forces as well as manipulate. The robot is capable of running at 2 m/s and turning at 1 rad/s.

Kinova Arm and Motion Capture

The HDSRL lab includes Kinova robotic arms. The Kinova arm is a 4.8kg and 4-DOF arm mounted with a 3-finger end-effector and a payload capacity of 4.2kg. These features make the Kinova arms suitable to manipulate a variety of objects. In addition, it is capable of running low-level controllers at 500Hz and high-level controllers at 100Hz. The Kinova arm is capable of RS-485 communication protocol and it's SDK is compatible with Ubuntu OS. The HDSRL lab has also an OptiTrack motion capture system consisting of twelve Prime 13 cameras (240 FPS at 1.3 MP resolution).