Design of a slider-crank leg mechanism for mobile hopping robotic platforms

Doyoung Chang, Jeongryul Kim, Dongkyu Choi, Kyu Jin Cho, Tae Won Seo, Jongwon Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Legged locomotion has been widely researched due to its effectiveness in overcoming uneven terrains. Due to previous efforts there has been much progress in achieving dynamic gait stability and as the next step, mimicking the high speed and efficiency observed in animals has become a research interest. The main barrier in developing such a robotic platform is the limitation in the power efficiency of the actuator: the use of pneumatic actuators produce sufficient power but are heavy and big; electronic motors can be compact but are disadvantageous in producing sudden impact from stall which is required for high speed legged locomotion. As a new attempt in this paper we suggest a new leg design for a mobile robot which uses the slider-crank mechanism to convert the continuous motor rotation into piston motion which is used to impact the ground. We believe this new mechanism will have advantage over conventional leg mechanism designs using electronic motors since it uses the continuous motion of the motor instead of sudden rotation movements from stall state which is not ideal to draw out maximum working condition from an electronic motor. In order to control impact timing from the periodic motion of the piston a mechanical passive clutch trigger mechanism was developed. Dynamic analysis was performed to determine the optimal position for the mechanical switch position of the clutch trigger mechanism, and the results were verified through simulation and experiment. Development of a legged locomotion with two degrees of freedom, slider-crank mechanism for impact and additional actuation for swing motion, is proposed for future work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-214
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Mechanical Science and Technology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Hopping locomotion
  • Legged robot
  • SLIP model
  • Slider-crank mechanism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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