Dynamic Modeling, Stability, and Energy Efficiency of a Quadrupedal Walking Machine

Publication Title

Journal of Robotic Systems

Publication Date


Document Type





dynamic modeling, stability, energy efficiency, quadrupedal walking machine


Mechanical Engineering


IIn the past, the dynamics of walking machines was studied based on very simple or simplified leg structures. A more complete dynamic model is essential for the further development of a practical walking machine. In this paper, the dynamic model of a realistic quadrupedal walking machine is derived for simulation and real-time control purposes. The walker has four cylindrical pantograph legs, and the whole system consists of twenty-nine links. The walking gait is wave gait with at least three feet on the ground at any time. Significant efforts have been made to improve the computational efficiency of the inverse dynamics, and the required CPU time is less than 10 ms on an IBM 3090. The derived dynamic model is then applied to study two practical issues of walking: dynamic stability and mechanical efficiency of different legs and gaits. Simulation results show clear advantages of one leg type over another, and of some walking strategies in terms of adjusting velocities, strokes, and duty factors for greater efficiency. © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.