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Tachyon: High Payload, Robust, and Dynamic Quadruped Robot with Series-Parallel Elastic ActuatorsTachyon is a quadruped robot designed to achieve high payload, robust, and dynamic locomotion on the various terrain with high energy efficiency. Thanks to a novel compact series-parallel elastic actuator (SPEA) on the upper link and a four-bar linkage design in the knee joint for constant vertical foot force, the 41-kg robot can carry more than 20 kg of payloads with dynamic walking. The combination of a robust horizontal CoM stabilizer and SPEA joint torque controller provides low impedance force controllability of the whole-body even when only the knee joint can accurately detect its joint torque. The major performance of Tachyon is demonstrated by carrying a 20-kg rice bag-half of its body weight-and climbing stairs with dynamic locomotion. When the robot climbs the stairs, the SPEA parallel spring improves energy efficiency by 16% and is also effective for various other gaits. The robustness of the robot is also shown by its high flexibility and fall avoidance capability when an unknown disturbance of 400 N or more is applied.
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Footage of Tachyon begins at 12:20.