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Bio-Design and Manufacturing  2024 Vol.7 No.1 P.1-13

http://doi.org/10.1007/s42242-023-00256-0


Bionic lightweight design of limb leg units for hydraulic quadruped robots by additive manufacturing and topology optimization


Author(s):  Huaizhi Zong, Junhui Zhang, Lei Jiang, Kun Zhang, Jun Shen, Zhenyu Lu, Ke Wang, Yanli Wang & Bing Xu

Affiliation(s):  The State Key Laboratory of Fluid Power and Mechatronic Systems, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China; more

Corresponding email(s):   benzjh@zju.edu.cn

Key Words:  Additive manufacturing, Bionic lightweight design, Limb leg unit, Quadruped robot, Trajectory tracking


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Huaizhi Zong, Junhui Zhang, Lei Jiang, Kun Zhang, Jun Shen, Zhenyu Lu, Ke Wang, Yanli Wang & Bing Xu . Bionic lightweight design of limb leg units for hydraulic quadruped robots by additive manufacturing and topology optimization[J]. Journal of Zhejiang University Science D, 2024, 7(1): 1-13.

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Abstract: 
Galloping cheetahs, climbing mountain goats, and load hauling horses all show desirable locomotion capability, which motivates the development of quadruped robots. Among various quadruped robots, hydraulically driven quadruped robots show great potential in unstructured environments due to their discrete landing positions and large payloads. As the most critical movement unit of a quadruped robot, the limb leg unit (LLU) directly affects movement speed and reliability, and requires a compact and lightweight design. Inspired by the dexterous skeleton–muscle systems of cheetahs and humans, this paper proposes a highly integrated bionic actuator system for a better dynamic performance of an LLU. We propose that a cylinder barrel with multiple element interfaces and internal smooth channels is realized using metal additive manufacturing, and hybrid lattice structures are introduced into the lightweight design of the piston rod. In addition, additive manufacturing and topology optimization are incorporated to reduce the redundant material of the structural parts of the LLU. The mechanical properties of the actuator system are verified by numerical simulation and experiments, and the power density of the actuators is far greater than that of cheetah muscle. The mass of the optimized LLU is reduced by 24.5%, and the optimized LLU shows better response time performance when given a step signal, and presents a good trajectory tracking ability with the increase in motion frequency.

【封面文章】浙江大学机械工程学院张军辉、纵怀志等 | 基于增材制造和拓扑优化的液压四足机器人肢腿单元仿生轻量化设计

本研究论文聚焦于液压四足机器人的轻量化设计与运动性能评估。疾速奔跑的猎豹和灵活攀岩的山羊等均表现出卓越的运动能力,如何学习动物的运动机理,辅助人类在非结构化环境中开展作业成为研究热点。四足机器人应运而生,依靠其离散的落足点,进而可适应多种地形,被广泛应用于地形勘探、城市作战、物资运输等领域。其中,液压四足机器人凭借其出色的大负载搬运能力,在诸多场合备受重视。肢腿单元作为机器人基本的运动单元,直接决定机器人的动态性能。受猎豹等生物的骨骼肌肉系统的启发,本研究设计了一款高度集成、轻量化的伺服液压执行器,利用金属增材制造技术,实现集成多元件接口和内嵌流道的缸筒设计。针对活塞杆直接出力、异形结构难以开展轻量化设计的难题,创新提出混合晶格概念,将混合晶格结构填充在活塞杆中部,用定制的晶格结构替换更大的中空区域,实现性能定制。利用变密度惩罚法对大、小腿结构件进行拓扑优化,去除应力较小区域的冗余材料。优化后的肢腿单元质量降低了24.5%,优化后的肢腿单元表现出更好的动态性能:随着运动频率的增加,呈现出色的轨迹跟踪效果。本研究为液压足式机器人的轻量化设计和轻量化后的动态性能量化评价提供参考。

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