Supported by National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program, Grant No. 2013CB035501).
Robots driven by batteries are clean, quiet, and can work indoors or in space. However, the battery endurance is a great problem. A new gait parameter design energy saving strategy to extend the working hours of the quadruped robot is proposed. A dynamic model of the robot is established to estimate and analyze the energy expenditures during trotting. Given a trotting speed, optimal stride frequency and stride length can minimize the energy expenditure. However, the relationship between the speed and the optimal gait parameters is nonlinear, which is difficult for practical application. Therefore, a simplified gait parameter design method for energy saving is proposed. A critical trotting speed of the quadruped robot is found and can be used to decide the gait parameters. When the robot is travelling lower than this speed, it is better to keep a constant stride length and change the cycle period. When the robot is travelling higher than this speed, it is better to keep a constant cycle period and change the stride length. Simulations and experiments on the quadruped robot show that by using the proposed gait parameter design approach, the energy expenditure can be reduced by about 54% compared with the 100 mm stride length under 500 mm/s speed. In general, an energy expenditure model based on the gait parameter of the quadruped robot is built and the trotting gait parameters design approach for energy saving is proposed.