Engineering the locusts: Hind leg modelling towards the design of a bio-inspired space hopper

Punzo, G. and McGookin, E. W. (2016) Engineering the locusts: Hind leg modelling towards the design of a bio-inspired space hopper. Journal of Multi-Body Dynamics, 230(4), pp. 455-468. (doi: 10.1177/1464419315624852)

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The mechanical operation of a biologically inspired robot hopper is presented. This design is based on the hind leg dynamics and jumping gait of a desert locust (Schistocerca gregaria). The biological mechanism is represented as a lumped mass system. This emulates the muscle activation sequence and gait responsible for the long, coordinated jump of locusts, whilst providing an engineering equivalent for the design of a biological inspired hopper for planetary exploration. Despite the crude simplification, performance compares well against biological data found in the literature and scaling towards size more typical of robotic realisation are considered from an engineering point of view. This aspect makes an important contribution to knowledge as it quantifies the balance between biological similarity and efficiency of the biomimetic hopping mechanism. Further, this work provides useful information towards the biomimetic design of a hopper vehicle whilst the analysis uncover the range maximisation conditions for powered flight at constant thrust by analytic means. The proposed design bridges concepts looking at the gait dynamics and designs oriented to extended, full powered trajectories.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:McGookin, Dr Euan and Punzo, Mr Giuliano
Authors: Punzo, G., and McGookin, E. W.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Autonomous Systems and Connectivity
Journal Name:Journal of Multi-Body Dynamics
ISSN (Online):2041-3068

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