The air muscle octopod is an eight legged autonomous robot using the McKibben air
muscle to control leg movement. Two pairs of muscles per leg will control vertical and lateral
movement. This will provide the necessary agility for the robot to walk.
Type: Walking Air Muscle Robot
Weight: ?? lbs
Body: Aluminum Frame
Power: 40-70 psig air supply
Control: M68332 Circuit
Weapons: Battle Spikes
This robot was sponsored by the Advanced Digital Systems Laboratory in the Electrical
Engineering Department of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. ADSL is under the
direction of Prof. Ricardo Uribe.
This robot uses McKibennen air muscles that have been purchased from a British company
called Shadow Robot Company. The air muscles are seen
in the figure below:
They are made of inner rubber tube covered by a braid.
When the inner tube is filled with
air it expands and so does the braid. As the braid and tube expand the ends of the "muscle"
contract like a real muscle and an actuation motion has been achieved.
In addition to these purchased muscles we have also attempted to build our
own with some degree of success. There are over 16 valves inside the octopod's body which
are used to direct air at ~70 psig to various muscles. The control of these valves is
done using a Motorola 68332 microcontroller. A simple assembly language code has been
written to enable the robot to walk in a forward direction. A more detailed description
of the entire project, as well as instructions on manufacturing the muscles is provided
in the Microsoft document below. There is also a set of photographs of
the octopod ( called Stiffy )
in addition to Unigraphics drawings made by Aaron Trask.