Posted by Wade Vagle
Just like how we appreciate Nike's when running on concrete, large scale walkers benefit from shock-absorbing feet. By increasing the spring's travel, shock-absorbing feet can also increase the percentage of ground-contact of each leg, which can smooth the gaits of high-stepping walkers like TrotBot and Strider. And of course, this can create new problems to be solved!
First, here's the Mondo Spider's feet in action, which provide some shock absorption, and they also slide on the smooth concrete, which helps with turning and with smoothing Klann's speed:
It walks amazingly fluidly considering how Klann's foot-path comes to a stop at each end, and the springs probably smooth the transition between feet somewhat:
Watching the video raises some questions, like:
Implementing Klann's linkage without shock-absorbing feet that slide results in a more halting gait, as can be seen in this version of the Walking Beast:
Next, here are some shock-absorbing feet ideas from Mechanical Walker pioneer, Professor Joseph Shigley:
Feet with such springs extend the feet toward the ground. So, in addition to absorbing shocks, the springs also increase the percentage of ground contact of each leg. For example, feet with very long springs could theoretically increase a 12-legged Strider's ground-contact of each leg to 50% of the crank's rotation, like is required by 8-legged Striders graphed in red below, but do so without causing the robot to drop at the two ends of the foot-path (where the red dots curl up).
However, a few of the (probably numerous) issues of long-spring feet are:
Welcome to DIYWalkers! My name is Ben Vagle, I'm 18 years old and I've been building mechanical walkers since I was 11. I started this blog to share what I've learned, and to collaborate with you. Let's see if we can take walkers to the next level!