simulation of a stiff-bodied animal with weak muscles. This
way, we learned that if everything is constant in a weak
body it will bend more, and that larger bend causes
greater acceleration,” Dr. Tytell continues.
The researchers are also testing the hypothesis that
matching the mechanical properties of future prosthetic
devices to the body’s natural mechanics will help produce
better, more natural prosthetics. “We are aiming at the
mechanical stability of the body. We want to help develop
appropriate mechanics for prosthetics and have those be
similar to body mechanics so they might be able to do
similar things,” Dr. Tytell explains.
The problem with older prosthetics is that they work
against the body’s natural mechanics rather than with
them. “Newer prosthetics take this more into account. If
you design something heavy and stiff like a robot leg, that
won’t work. The Asimo robot, for
example, is a very stiff, strong, and
heavy robot. In our legs, our bones
are stiff but the joints are compliant.
Older prosthetics try to control
everything rather than letting some
of the movement be dictated by the
natural movement of the system,”
says Dr. Tytell.
“If we understand how animals control movements in
unpredictable environments, we can design prosthetics
with control systems, robot limbs, or an autonomous
submarine, for example, that can do some of the same
things a fish can do,” concludes Dr. Tytell. SV
Dr. Eric Tytell
Dr. Avis Cohen
STEER WINNING ROBOTS
Perform proportional speed, direction, and steering with only two Radio/Control channels for vehicles using two
separate brush-type electric motors mounted right and left
with our mixing RDFR dual speed control. Used in many
successful competitive robots. Single joystick operation: up
goes straight ahead, down is reverse. Pure right or left twirls
vehicle as motors turn opposite directions. In between stick
positions completely proportional. Plugs in like a servo to
your Futaba, JR, Hitec, or similar radio. Compatible with gyro
steering stabilization. Various volt and amp sizes available.
The RDFR47E 55V 75A per motor unit pictured above.
12 SERVO 02.2011