Geometric Perspectives on the Mechanics and Control of Robotic Locomotion

  • Jim Ostrowski
  • Joel Burdick


This paper uses geometric methods to study basic problems in locomotion. We consider in detail the case of “(undulatory locomotion,” which is generated by a coupling of internal shape changes to external nonholonomic constraints. Such locomotion problems can be modeled as a connection on a principal fiber bundle. The properties of connections lead to simplified results for both the dynamics and controllability of locomotion systems. We demonstrate the utility of this approach on a novel “Snakeboard” and a multi-segmented serpentine robot which is modeled after Hirose’s ACM.


Manifold Torque Titan Librium Kelly 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jim Ostrowski
    • 1
  • Joel Burdick
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Mechanical EngineeringCalifornia Institute of TechnologyPasadenaUSA

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