Travis Brown
   - Reaction Wheel Actuation

Anne Martin
   - Curved-Foot Walking

David Post
   - ERNIE

Walking Robots

Most successful humanoid robots use carefully choreographed walking motions that rely on a perfectly flat ground and large flat feet to ensure stability. This approach, known as ZMP, is simple but limited because it avoids the complexity of controlling the robot in underactuated domains of the state space. By contrast, much of the biped robot work at Notre Dame employs a mathematical technique known as Hybrid Zero Dynamics (HZD) that generates stable gaits even when the robot lacks ankles and has a foot so small that it can be considered a single point (point-foot robot). Unfortunately, this method requires a relatively simple model and does not easily lend itself to modification.

An alternative strategy has been developed that instead employs direct nonlinear optimization to generate dynamically feasible system trajectories. While lacking the stability guarantees of HZD, it is more flexible and has proved very effective in hardware.

An interesting concept that is currently under investigation is the use of a body mounted inertial actuator to provide stabilization regardless of foot-ground contact. As an added benefit, current work has shown that this inertial actuator should not only improve stability but also be able to improve the efficiency of point-foot bipeds as well.

Laboratory Robots

BIRT (BIped Robot with Three legs)

BIRT was built at Ohio State University's Locomotion and Biomechanics Lab by Adam Dunki-Jacobs, Prof. Schmiedeler, and Eric R. Westervelt.


ERNIE was built at Ohio State University's Locomotion and Biomechanics Lab by Ryan Bockbrader.

KURMET (Kinematicly Underactuated Robot for dynamic Maneuver Experimental Testing)

KURMET is a robot that hops.

DARwIn-OP (Dynamic Anthropomorphic Robot with Intelligence-Open Platform)

The DARwIn robots are used for outreach activities and training undergraduate students in the ways of robotic controls.

Journal Publications

Conference Publications