The University of Manchester has launched a robotic project using the MapleSim physical modeling software that aims at improving the walking characteristics in humanoids.
Professor Darwin Caldwell at the Italian Institute of Technology, Genova, has been involved in the development of a new humanoid robot, called CCub, which is an improved version of the iCub, another humanoid developed at the IIT.
The Centre for Interdisciplinary Computational and Dynamic Analysis (CICIDA) has collaborated with Professor Caldwell for improving the locomotive actions in humanoids. CICIDA uses a hybrid model to study in detail about the walking characteristics. The robot’s response is captured using spring or dampers present in the system. Simulation of the vertical ground reaction force is produced by the damping characteristics of the springs. Moreover, the model uses dampers to simulate actuator dynamics.
Ph.D. student Houman Dallali has effectively produced complex simulations using the 'drag and drop’. The MapleSim's interface allows users to edit existing routines with minimal effort. The linearization techniques offered by MapleSim is highly effective for simulating robots. The CICIDA team’s future projects may include dynamic walking of robots with full body control and extended range of gaits.