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Aiming and Vaulting: Spider Inspired Leaping for Jumping Robots

TitleAiming and Vaulting: Spider Inspired Leaping for Jumping Robots
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsFaraji H, Tachella R, Hatton RL
Conference NameIEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA)

Jumping spiders are capable of targeted jumps by using their front legs to guide the release of energy from their rear legs. In this paper, we present a simplified model of the jumping spider based on the anatomy of the real spider. The immediate goal of this model is to understand how the geometry of the legs affects the jumping motion, with the further goal of using this geometry in the future development of jumping robots. Through a set of simulations, dynamic analysis, and experiments with a physical realization of our model, we identify several features of the spiders' jumping mechanism, most notably that ``vaulting" with the front legs allows the system to generate flatter take-off trajectories than could be achieved by simple aiming of a spring-release mechanism.