Lift-off dynamics in a simple jumping robot
Goldman, Daniel I.
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We study vertical jumping in a simple robot comprising an actuated mass-spring arrangement. The actuator frequency and phase are systematically varied to find optimal performance. Optimal jumps occur above and below (but not at) the robot’s resonant frequency f0. Two distinct jumping modes emerge: a simple jump, which is optimal above f0, is achievable with a squat maneuver, and a peculiar stutter jump, which is optimal below f0, is generated with a countermovement. A simple dynamical model reveals how optimal lift-off results from nonresonant transient dynamics.