• Robots

    To investigate human and animal locomotion, a number of legged robots were developed in our group since 2004. Read about the bipedal robot BioBiped or the research in the Locomorph project focusing on morphology and morphosis strategies in locomotion.

  • Prostheses

    To investigate models of the muscle-tendon dynamics on humans we developed the research platform PAKO. Using our insights on gait biomechanics, walking and running could be realized with the robotic Walk-Run Ankle prosthesis.

  • Facilities

    Several indoor and outdoor facilities with state-of-the-art measurement equipment helps us to perform experiments on humans, animals and robots. Details can be found here: Facilities.

  • Experiments

    Both in research projects and in teaching courses at the Sports Science Institut at TU Darmstadt experimental studies are performed. Outcomes from student research and educational projects on biomechanics can be found in the awarded Teaching Wiki of our institute.

  • Models

    Models help us to study the fundamental principles of human and animal locomotion. The derived biomechanical concepts can be applied to bipedal robots, exoskeletons or prosthesis. In the European project Balance, we are working on an active orthosis.


Pick of the Month

Parallel compliance design for increasing robustness and efficiency in legged locomotion-proof of concept

A new concept for simultanous design and control of parallel compliance is introduced in this research. The analytical design approach is based on hybrid zero dynamics control method and the goal is increasing robustness in locomotion. This study is presented in a recently published paper by Sharbafi et al., in by Grimmer et al. in IEEE Transactions on Mechatronics.


Benefiting from serial compliance in series elastic actuators can be considered as a breakthrough in robotics. Recently, applying the parallel compliance in robot designs is growing based on its advantages such as reduction in consumed torques. In this paper, we aim at employing parallel compliance to increase walking robustness of bipedal robots against model uncertainties. Utilizing passive compliant elements instead of adapting the controller in order to cope with uncertainties makes the system more efficient and less sensitive to measurement issues such as delays and noise. We introduce a methodology for designing both parallel compliance and controller using hybrid zero dynamics concept. This study includes simulation results representing the design approach and preliminary experiments on parallel compliance effects on efficiency of a robot joint position control. The simulations comprise a compass gait (2-link) model and a 5-link model (see the figures). The ground slope and robot segment lengths are considered as uncertain parameters in the first and second models, respectively. The control target is met by the insertion of compliant structures parallel to the actuators. In order to employ the proposed method on a real robot, we suggest using pneumatic air muscles as parallel compliant elements. Pilot experiments on the knee joint of BioBiped3 robot support the feasibility of suggested method.

For further publications of the author please check: ResearchGate, Google Scholar, ORCID or LOOP

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