Locomotion Device and Methods and Related Software

Tech ID: 27105 / UC Case 2017-042-0

Patent Status

Country Type Number Dated Case
United States Of America Published Application 20200046522 02/13/2020 2017-042
Patent Cooperation Treaty Published Application WO2018068006 04/12/2018 2017-042

Brief Description

Next-generation robotic technology is driving towards better control of agile motions. This includes a technology focus on generating enhanced peak power for jumping agility. Most leaping robots use a spring mechanism with a latch. Due to the on/off nature of latches, the result is very high-powered releases of energy which are difficult to control. To address this problem, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have developed a new mechanical approach using “power modulation” that allows for high amplitude, high frequency jumps without the use of latches. In one embodiment, a multi-bar linkage connected only by revolute joints is capable of minimizing impulse loading and manipulating power output while performing rotation-free jumps. The Berkeley team has demonstrated an 85 gram prototype which delivered almost four times more peak jumping power than the maximum its motor can produce. Moreover, in silico testing predicts the prototype could reach an agility levels exceeding that of the most agile animals if the actuator power is raised to 15W.

Suggested uses

  • Military robotics
  • Civilian robotics
  • Industrial robotics


  • Uses many off-the-shelf-parts
  • Precision control with latchless/catchless scheme
  • Output power exceeds the maximum of the motor element 
  • Constant output force during sprung linkage release to minimize impulse loading
  • Compact, lightweight design
  • Minimally actuated

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Other Information


power modulation, robot, rotation-free, series elastic, monopod, jumping, leaping, jump, leap, jumping robot, leaping robot, agile robotic, MIT Cheetah, actuator, actuation

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