The first result of that effort was TrotBot's heel linkage. As you can see below, TrotBot's heel strikes before the main foot, resulting in a smoother gait and lower power requirements (for an analogy of why bumpy gaits require more power, think how much harder it is to do lunges than it is to simply walk).
Another benefit of TrotBot's heel is it steps higher on the backside of the foot-path, allowing TrotBot's rear legs to step about as high as the front legs to avoid getting stuck astride obstacles, as can be seen in this heel-path simulation:
Without its heel, TrotBot's rear legs probably wouldn't have cleared a few of these higher steps:
We've also played around with a few options for active toes that push down on the ground as the foot begins to lift, such as the active toes on TrotBot in the above video. Here's another example of simple feet with toes.
Welcome to DIYWalkers! My name is Ben Vagle, I'm 17 years old and I've been building mechanical walkers for the past 5 years. 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!