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Title:
MOBILE ROBOT SITTING AND STANDING
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/164601
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A method (1400) of operating a robot (100) includes assuming a resting pose (PR) of the robot on a surface (12). The robot includes an inverted pendulum body (200), a counter-balance body (300) disposed on the inverted pendulum body and configured to move relative to the inverted pendulum body, at least one arm (600) connected to the inverted pendulum body and configured to move relative to the inverted pendulum body, at least one leg (400) prismatically coupled to the inverted pendulum body, and a drive wheel (500) rotatably coupled to the at least one leg. The method also includes moving from the resting pose to a sitting pose (PSit) by moving the counter-balance body relative to the inverted pendulum body away from the ground surface to position a center of mass of the robot substantially over the drive wheel.

Inventors:
PERKINS, Alexander, Douglas (78 Fourth Avenue, Waltham, MA, 02451, US)
Application Number:
US2019/013807
Publication Date:
August 29, 2019
Filing Date:
January 16, 2019
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
BOSTON DYNAMICS, INC. (78 Fourth Avenue, Waltham, MA, 02451, US)
International Classes:
B25J5/00; B25J9/16; B25J19/00; B25J15/00
Domestic Patent References:
WO2012066678A12012-05-24
WO2014076837A12014-05-22
Foreign References:
US20110313568A12011-12-22
Other References:
BOSTONDYNAMICS: "Introducing Handle", YOUTUBE, 27 February 2017 (2017-02-27), pages 1 - 1, XP054979292, Retrieved from the Internet [retrieved on 20190410]
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KRUEGER, Brett, A. (Honigman LLP, 650 Trade Centre WaySuite 20, Kalamazoo MI, 49002-0402, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:

1. A method (1400) of operating a robot (100), the method (1400) comprising: assuming a resting pose (PR) of the robot (100) on a surface (12), the robot (100) comprising:

an inverted pendulum body (200) having first and second end portions

(210, 220);

a counter-balance body (300) disposed on the inverted pendulum body (200) and configured to move relative to the inverted pendulum body (200);

at least one arm (600) having proximal and distal ends (610, 620), the proximal end (610) connected to the inverted pendulum body (200), the at least one arm (600) configured to move relative to the inverted pendulum body (200);

at least one leg (400) having first and second ends (410, 420), the first end (410) of the at least one leg (400) prismatically coupled to the second end portion (220) of the inverted pendulum body (200); and

a drive wheel (500) rotatably coupled to the second end (420) of the at least one leg (400),

wherein, in the resting pose (PR), the drive wheel (500) and the at least one leg (400) supporting the robot (100) on the surface (12), the at least one leg (400) is in a corresponding retracted position at least partially adjacent the inverted pendulum body (200);

moving from the resting pose (PR) to a sitting pose (Psit) of the robot (100) by moving the counter-balance body (300) relative to the inverted pendulum body (200) away from the surface (12) to position a center of mass of the robot (100) substantially over the drive wheel (500); and

moving from the sitting pose (Psu) to a standing pose (Pstand) of the robot (100) by altering a length of the at least one leg (400), the at least one leg (400) having a variable length between the first and second ends (410, 420) of the at least one leg (400).

2. The method (1400) of claim 1, further comprising moving the counter-balance body (300) relative to the inverted pendulum body (200) to maintain the standing pose (P Stand). 3. The method (1400) of claim 1 or 2, further comprising moving the at least one arm (600) to an extended position away from the inverted pendulum body (200) to maintain the standing pose (Pstand).

4. The method (1400) of any of claims 1-3, further comprising at least one of, when moving from the resting pose (PR) to the sitting pose (Pstt):

rotating the at least one leg (400) about the first end (410) of the at least one leg (400) from the retracted position to a deployed position, causing the inverted pendulum body (200) to move upward away from the surface (12); or

moving the counter-balance body (300) relative to the inverted pendulum body (200) and into contact with the surface (12), causing the inverted pendulum body (200) to move upward away from the surface (12).

5. The method (1400) of any of claims 1-4, wherein the at least one leg (400) comprises:

a right leg (400a) having first and second ends (410, 420), the first end (410) of the right leg (400a) prismatically coupled to the second end portion (220) of the inverted pendulum body (200), the right leg (400a) having a right drive wheel (500a) rotatably coupled to the second end (420) of the right leg (400a); and

a left leg (400b) having first and second ends (410, 420), the first end (410) of the left leg (400b) prismatically coupled to the second end portion (220) of the inverted pendulum body (200), the left leg (400b) having a left drive wheel (500b) rotatably coupled to the second end (420) of the left leg (400b).

6. The method (1400) of any of claims 1-5, wherein the at least one leg (400) comprises: an upper portion (401) extending between the first end (410) prismatically coupled to the second end portion (220) of the inverted pendulum body (200) and a knee joint (414); and

a lower portion (402) extending between the knee joint (414) and the second end (420) rotatably coupled to the drive wheel (500), the lower portion (402) rotatably coupled to the knee joint (414).

7. The method (1400) of claim 6, wherein altering the length of the at least one leg (400) comprises rotating the lower portion (402) about the knee joint (414) relative to the upper portion (401).

8. The method (1400) of any of claims 1-7, wherein the counter-balance body (300) is rotatably coupled to the first end portion (210) of the inverted pendulum body (200). 9. The method (1400) of any of claims 1-8, wherein the counter-balance body (300) is rotatably coupled to the second end portion (220) of the inverted pendulum body (200).

10. The method (1400) of any of claims 1-9, wherein the proximal end (610) of the at least one arm (600) is rotatably coupled to the first end portion (210) of the inverted pendulum body (200).

11. The method (1400) of any of claims 1-10, wherein the proximal end (610) of the at least one arm (600) is rotatably coupled to the second end portion (220) of the inverted pendulum body (200).

12. A robot (100) comprising:

an inverted pendulum body (200) having first and second end portions (210, 220); a counter-balance body (300) coupled to the inverted pendulum body (200) and configured to move relative to the inverted pendulum body (200); at least one arm (600) having proximal and distal ends (610, 620), the proximal end (610) connected to the inverted pendulum body (200), the at least one arm (600) configured to move relative to the inverted pendulum body (200);

at least one leg (400) having first and second ends (410, 420), the first end (410) of the at least one leg (400) prismatically coupled to the second end portion (220) of the inverted pendulum body (200);

a drive wheel (500) rotatably coupled to the second end (420) of the at least one leg (400); and

a controller (102) in communication with the counter-balance body (300), the at least one arm (600), the at least one leg (400), and the drive wheel (500), the controller (102) configured to perform operations comprising:

assuming a resting pose (PR) of the robot (100) on a surface (12), wherein, in the resting pose (PR), the drive wheel (500) and the at least one leg (400) support the robot (100) on the surface (12), the at least one leg (400) is in a corresponding retracted position at least partially adjacent the inverted pendulum body (200);

moving from the resting pose (PR) to a sitting pose (Psn) of the robot (100) by moving the counter-balance body (300) relative to the inverted pendulum body (200) away from the surface (12) to position a center of mass of the robot (100) substantially over the drive wheel (500); and

moving from the sitting pose (Psit) to a standing pose (Pstand) of the robot

(100) by altering the length of the at least one leg (400), the at least one leg (400) having a variable length between the first and second ends (410, 420) of the at least one leg (400). 13. The robot (100) of claim 12, wherein the operations further comprise moving the counter-balance body (300) relative to the inverted pendulum body (200) to maintain the standing pose (Pstand).

14. The robot (100) of claim 12 or 13, wherein the operations further comprise moving the at least one arm (600) to an extended position away from the inverted pendulum body (200) to maintain the standing pose (Pstand). 15. The robot (100) of any of claims 12-14, wherein the operations further comprise at least one of, when moving from the resting pose (PR) to the sitting pose (Psit):

rotating the at least one leg (400) about the first end (410) of the at least one leg (400) from the retracted position to a deployed position, causing the inverted pendulum body (200) to move upward away from the surface (12); or

moving the counter-balance body (300) relative to the inverted pendulum body

(200) and into contact with the surface (12), causing the inverted pendulum body (200) to move upward away from the surface (12).

16. The robot (100) of any of claims 12-15, wherein the at least one leg (400) comprises:

a right leg (400a) having first and second ends (410, 420), the first end (410) of the right leg (400a) prismatically coupled to the second end portion (220) of the inverted pendulum body (200), the right leg (400a) having a right drive wheel (500a) rotatably coupled to the second end (420) of the right leg (400a); and

a left leg (400b) having first and second ends (410, 420), the first end (410) of the left leg (400b) prismatically coupled to the second end portion (220) of the inverted pendulum body (200), the left leg (400b) having a left drive wheel (500b) rotatably coupled to the second end (420) of the left leg (400b). 17. The robot (100) of any of claims 12-16, wherein the at least one leg (400) comprises:

an upper portion (401) extending between the first end (410) prismatically coupled to the second end portion (220) of the inverted pendulum body (200) and a knee joint (414); and a lower portion (402) extending between the knee joint (414) and the second end (420) rotatably coupled to the drive wheel (500), the lower portion (402) rotatably coupled to the knee joint (414). 18. The robot (100) of claim 17, wherein altering the length of the at least one leg

(400) comprises rotating the lower portion (402) about the knee joint (414) relative to the upper portion (401).

19. The robot (100) of any of claims 12-18, wherein the counter-balance body (300) is rotatably coupled to the first end portion (210) of the inverted pendulum body (200).

20. The robot (100) of any of claims 12-19, wherein the counter-balance body (300) is rotatably coupled to the first end portion (210) of the inverted pendulum body (200). 21. The robot (100) of any of claims 12-20, wherein the proximal end (610) of the at least one arm (600) is rotatably coupled to the first end portion (210) of the inverted pendulum body (200).

22. The robot (100) of any of claims 12-21, wherein the proximal end (610) of the at least one arm (600) is rotatably coupled to the second end portion (220) of the inverted pendulum body (200).

Description:
Mobile Robot Sitting and Standing

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0001] This disclosure relates to mobile robots moving from sitting positions to standing positions. BACKGROUND

[0002] Robots currently perform tasks in various working environments, such as factories, storage facilities, office buildings, and hospitals. Moreover, robots are sometimes designed with large stationary or moveable bases that allow the robot to maintain an upright position while performing tasks that involve lifting and handling heavy objects without tipping over. The large bases, however, tend to be heavy, large, slow, and cumbersome, severely limiting mobility and being inappropriate for use in areas with tight footprints. While other robots with smaller and lighter bases or mobility platforms are more maneuverable than the robots with large bases, they are typically not practical for carrying heavy objects due to instabilities resulting from shifts in center of mass and changes in momentum as the objects are picked up and put down.

SUMMARY

[0003] One aspect of the disclosure provides a method for operating a robot. The robot includes an inverted pendulum body having first and second end portions. The robot further includes a counter-balance body, at least one arm having proximal and distal ends, and at least one leg having first and second ends. The counter-balance body is disposed on the inverted pendulum body and configured to move relative to the inverted pendulum body, while the first end of the at least one leg is prismatically coupled to the second end portion of the inverted pendulum body. The counter-balance body may be disposed on the first end portion of the inverted pendulum body or the second end portion of the inverted pendulum body. The proximal end of the at least one arm is connected to the inverted pendulum body and configured to move relative to the inverted pendulum body. The robot further includes a drive wheel rotatably coupled to the second end of the at least one leg. The method includes assuming a resting pose of the robot on a surface. In the resting pose, the drive wheel and the at least one leg support the robot on the surface, the at least one leg is in a corresponding retracted position at least partially adjacent the inverted pendulum body. The method also includes moving from the resting pose to a sitting pose of the robot by moving the counter-balance body relative to the inverted pendulum body away from the ground surface to position a center of mass of the robot substantially over the drive wheel. The method also includes moving from the sitting pose to a standing pose of the robot by altering a length of the at least one leg.

The at least one leg includes a variable length between the first and second ends of the at least one leg.

[0004] Implementations of the disclosure may include one or more of the following optional features. In some implementations, the method further includes moving the counter-balance body relative to the inverted pendulum body to maintain the standing pose. Optionally, the method may also include moving the at least one arm to an extended position away from the inverted pendulum body to maintain the standing pose.

[0005] In some examples, when moving from the resting pose to the sitting pose, the method includes at least one of: rotating the at least one leg about the first end of the at least one leg from the retracted position to a deployed position, causing the inverted pendulum body to move upward away from the surface; or moving the counter-balance body relative to the inverted pendulum body and into contact with the ground surface, causing the inverted pendulum body to move upward away from the surface. The at least one leg may include a right leg having first and second ends and a left leg having first and second ends. The first end of the right leg is prismatically coupled to the second end portion of the inverted pendulum body. The right leg has a right drive wheel rotatably coupled to the second end of the right leg. The first end of the left leg is prismatically coupled to the second end portion of the inverted pendulum body. The left leg has a left drive wheel rotatably coupled to the second end of the left leg. Additionally, the at least one leg may optionally include an upper portion extending between the first end prismatically coupled to the second end portion of the inverted pendulum body and a knee joint, and a lower portion extending between the knee joint and the second end rotatably coupled to the drive wheel, wherein the lower portion is rotatably coupled to the knee joint. In some scenarios, altering the length of the at least one leg includes altering the lower portion about the knee joint relative to the upper portion.

[0006] The counter-balance body may be rotatably coupled to one of the first end portion of the inverted pendulum body or the second end portion of the inverted pendulum body. The proximal end of the at least one arm may be rotatably coupled to one of the first end portion of the inverted pendulum body or the second end portion of the inverted pendulum body.

[0007] Another aspect of the disclosure provides a robot including an inverted pendulum body having first and second end portions, a counter-balance body, at least one arm having proximal and distal ends, and at least one leg having first and second ends. The counter-balance body is disposed on the inverted pendulum body and configured to move relative to the inverted pendulum body, while the first end of the at least one leg is prismatically coupled to the second end portion of the inverted pendulum body. The counter-balance body may be disposed on the first end portion of the inverted pendulum body or the second end portion of the inverted pendulum body. The proximal end of the at least one arm is connected to the inverted pendulum body and configured to move relative to the inverted pendulum body. The robot further includes a drive wheel rotatably coupled to the second end of the at least one leg. The robot further includes a controller in communication with the counter-balance body, the at least one leg, and the drive wheel. The controller is configured to perform operations that include assuming a resting pose of the robot on a surface, wherein, in the resting pose, the drive wheel and the at least one leg support the robot on the surface, the at least one leg is in a corresponding retracted position at least partially adjacent the inverted pendulum body. The operations further include moving from the resting pose to a sitting pose of the robot by moving the counter-balance body relative to the inverted pendulum body away from the ground surface to position a center of mass of the robot substantially over the drive wheel. The operations further include moving from the sitting pose to a standing pose of the robot by altering a length of the at least one leg, the at least one leg having a variable length between the first and second ends of the at least one leg. [0008] This aspect may include one or more of the following optional features. In some implementations, the operations further include moving the counter-balance body relative to the inverted pendulum body to maintain the standing pose. Optionally, the operations may also include moving the at least one arm to an extended position away from the inverted pendulum body to maintain the standing pose.

[0009] In some examples, when moving from the resting pose to the sitting pose, the operations further include at least one of: rotating the at least one leg about the first end of the at least one leg from the retracted position to a deployed position, causing the inverted pendulum body to move upward away from the surface; or moving the counter- balance body relative to the inverted pendulum body and into contact with the ground surface, causing the inverted pendulum body to move upward away from the surface.

The at least one leg may include a right leg having first and second ends and a left leg having first and second ends. The first end of the right leg is prismatically coupled to the second end portion of the inverted pendulum body. The right leg has a right drive wheel rotatably coupled to the second end of the right leg. The first end of the left leg is prismatically coupled to the second end portion of the inverted pendulum body. The left leg has a left drive wheel rotatably coupled to the second end of the left leg.

Additionally, the at least one leg may optionally include an upper portion extending between the first end prismatically coupled to the second end portion of the inverted pendulum body and a knee j oint, and a lower portion extending between the knee j oint and the second end rotatably coupled to the drive wheel, wherein the lower portion is rotatably coupled to the knee joint. In some scenarios, altering the length of the at least one leg includes altering the lower portion about the knee joint relative to the upper portion.

[0010] The counter-balance body may be rotatably coupled to one of the first end portion of the inverted pendulum body or the second end portion of the inverted pendulum body. The proximal end of the at least one arm may be rotatably coupled to one of the first end portion of the inverted pendulum body or the second end portion of the inverted pendulum body. [0011] The details of one or more implementations of the disclosure are set forth in the accompanying drawings and the description below. Other aspects, features, and advantages will be apparent from the description and drawings, and from the claims.

DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[0012] FIG. lAis schematic view of an example robot.

[0013] FIGS. 1B and 1C are schematic views of the robot of FIG. 1 A showing a counter-balance body moving relative to an inverted pendulum body of the robot.

[0014] FIGS ID and 1E are schematic vies showing an example robot having two appendages disposed on an inverted pendulum body.

[0015] FIG. 1F is a schematic view of an example robot assuming a resting pose.

[0016] FIG. 1G is a schematic view of the robot of FIG. 1F moving from the resting pose to a sitting pose.

[0017] FIG. 1H is a schematic view of the robot of FIG. 1F moving from a sitting pose to a standing pose.

[0018] FIGS. 2 and 3 are schematics view of example robots.

[0019] FIG. 4 is a flow chart of an example arrangement of operations for a method of operating a robot.

[0020] FIG. 5 is a schematic view of an example computing device that may be used to implement the systems and methods described herein.

[0021] Like reference symbols in the various drawings indicate like elements.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0022] Mobile robots currently perform tasks in various working environments, such as factories, storage facilities, office buildings, and hospitals. When not operating, robots may be stowed away and powered down while not in use. In this scenario, a robot may assume a resting pose that minimizes an area occupied by the robot and allows the robot to power down to conserve energy and/or permit charging of an energy storage device powering the robot. Once the hours of operation for the working environment resume, the robot needs to transition from the resting pose and to an operating pose without losing balance and tipping over. Implementations herein are directed toward moving a robot from a resting pose to a sitting pose by moving a torso (e.g., inverted pendulum body ) of the robot upward away from a surface to position a center of mass of the robot over drive wheels of the robot and subsequently moving from the sitting pose to a standing pose by moving at least one arm of the robot from a corresponding retracted deposition to an extended position away from the torso to cause the center of mass of the robot to balance over the drive wheels.

[0023] Referring to FIGS. 1A-1E, in some implementations, a robot 100, lOOa includes an inverted pendulum body (IPB) 200, a counter-balance body 300 disposed on the IPB 200, at least one leg 400 having a first end 410 coupled to the IPB 200 and a second end 420, and a drive wheel 500 rotatably coupled to the second end 420 of the at least one leg 400. The robot 100 has a vertical gravitational axis V g (FIGS. 1B and 1C) along a direction of gravity, and a center of mass CM, which is a point where the robot 100 has a zero sum distribution of mass. The robot 100 further has a pose P based on the CM relative to the vertical gravitational axis V g to define a particular attitude or stance assumed by the robot 100. The attitude of the robot 100 can be defined by an orientation or an angular position of an object in space.

[0024] The IPB 200 has first and second end portions 210, 220 and may be interchangeably referred to as a torso 200 for the robot 100. For instance, the IPB 200 may define a length between a first end 212 associated with the first end portion 210 and a second end 222 associated with the second end portion 220. In some examples, a point of delineation separating the first and second end portions 210, 220 is at a midpoint between the first end 212 and the second end 222, so that the first end portion 210 encompasses 50-percent of the length of the IPB 200 and the second end portion 220 encompasses the remaining 50-percent of the length of the IPB 200. In other examples, the point of delineation separating the first and second end portions 210, 220 of the IPB 200 is closer to one of the first end 212 or the second end 222 so that one of the first end portion 210 or the second end portion 220 extends along a larger portion of the length of the IPB 200 than the other one of the first end portion 210 or the second end portion 220. For instance, the first end portion 210 extending from the first end 212 may encompass 90-, 80-, 70-, 60-, 40-, 30-, 20-, 10-percent of the length of the IPB 200 while the second end portion 220 extending from the second end 222 may encompass the remaining 10-, 20-, 30-, 60-, 70-, 80-, 90-percent of the length of the IPB 200.

[0025] In some implementations, the counter-balance body 300 is disposed on the first end portion 210 of the IPB 200 and configured to move relative to the IPB 200. The counter-balance body 300 may be interchangeably referred to as a tail 300. A back joint bk, 350 may rotatably couple the counter-balance body 300 to the first end portion 210 of the IPB 200 to allow the counter-balance body 300 to rotate relative to the IPB 200. In the example shown, the back joint bk, 350 supports the counter-balance body 300 to allow the counter-balance body 300 to move/pitch around a lateral axis (y-axis) that extends perpendicular to the gravitational vertical axis Vg and a fore-aft axis (x-axis) of the robot 100. The fore-aft axis (x-axis) may denote a present direction of travel by the robot 100.

[0026] Referring to FIG. IB, the counter-balance body 300 has a longitudinal axis LCBB extending from the back joint bk, 350 and is configured to pivot at the back joint bk, 350 to move/pitch around the lateral axis ( y-axis) relative to the IPB 200 (in both the clockwise and counter-clockwise directions relative to the view shown in FIG. 1B). Accordingly, the back joint bk, 350 may be referred to as a pitch joint. The pose P of the robot 100 may be defined at least in part by a rotational angle OCBB of the counter-balance body 300 relative to the vertical gravitational axis Vg. Moreover, the counter-balance body 300 may generate/impart a moment MCBB (rotational force) at the back joint bk, 350 based on the rotational angle OCBB of the counter-balance body 300 relative to the vertical gravitational axis Vg. Thus, movement by the counter-balance body 300 relative to the IPB 200 alters the pose P of the robot 100 by moving the CM of the robot 100 relative to the vertical gravitational axis Vg. A rotational actuator 352 (e.g., a tail actuator) may be positioned at or near the back joint bk, 350 for controlling movement by the counter balance body 300 (e.g., tail) about the lateral axis (y-axis). The rotational actuator 352 may include an electric motor, electro-hydraulic servo, piezo-electric actuator, solenoid actuator, pneumatic actuator, or other actuator technology suitable for accurately effecting movement of the counter-balance body 300 relative to the IPB 200. [0027] The rotational movement by the counter-balance body 300 relative to the IPB 200 alters the pose P of the robot 100 for balancing and maintaining the robot 100 in an upright position. For instance, similar to rotation by a flywheel in a conventional inverted pendulum flywheel, rotation by the counter-balance body 300 relative to the gravitational vertical axis V g generates/imparts the moment MCBB at the back j oint bk,

350 to alter the pose P of the robot 100. By moving the counter-balance body 300 relative to the IPB 200 to alter the pose P of the robot 100, the CM of the robot 100 moves relative to the gravitational vertical axis Vg to balance and maintain the robot 100 in the upright position in scenarios when the robot 100 is moving and/or carrying a load. However, by contrast to the flywheel portion in the conventional inverted pendulum flywheel that has a mass centered at the moment point, the counter-balance body 300 includes a corresponding mass that is offset from the moment MCBB imparted at the back joint bk, 350. In some configurations, a gyroscope disposed at the back joint bk, 350 could be used in lieu of the counter-balance body 300 to spin and impart the moment MCBB (rotational force) for balancing and maintaining the robot 100 in the upright position.

[0028] Referring to FIG. 1C, the counter-balance body 300 may rotate (e.g., pitch) about the back joint bk, 350 in both the clockwise and counter-clockwise directions (e.g., about the y-axis in the“pitch direction” relative to the view shown in FIG. 1C) to create an oscillating (e.g., wagging) movement. For example, the counter-balance body 300 may move/pitch about the lateral axis (y-axis) in a first direction (e.g., counter-clockwise direction) from a first position (solid lines) associated with longitudinal axis LCBB I, having a first rotational angle OCBBI relative to the vertical gravitation axis V g , to a second position (dashed lines) associated with longitudinal axis LCBB2, having a second rotational angle 0CBB2 relative to the vertical gravitation axis Vg. Movement by the counter-balance body 300 relative to IPB 200 from the first position to the second position causes the CM of the robot 100 to shift and lower toward the ground surface 12.

[0029] The counter-balance body 300 may also move/pitch about the lateral axis (y- axis) in an opposite second direction (e.g., clockwise direction) from the second position (dashed lines) back to the first position or another position either before or beyond the first position. Movement by the counter-balance body 300 relative to the IPB 200 in the second direction away from the second position (dashed lines) causes the CM of the robot 100 to shift and raise away from the ground surface 12. Thus, increasing the rotational angle OCBB of the counter-balance body 300 relative to the vertical gravitational axis V may cause the CM of the robot 100 to lower toward the ground surface 12, while decreasing the rotational angle OCBB of the counter-balance body 300 relative to the vertical gravitational axis V g may cause the CM of the robot 100 to raise away from the ground surface 12 and/or shift forward or backward relative to the point of contact between the drive wheels 500 and the ground surface 12. In some examples, the longitudinal axis LCBB of the counter-balance body 300 is coincident with the vertical gravitational axis Vg. The counter-balance body 300 may oscillate between movements in the first and second directions to create the wagging movement. The rotational velocity of the counter-balance body 300 when moving relative to the IPB 200 may be constant or changing (accelerating or decelerating) depending upon how quickly the pose P of the robot 100 needs to be altered for dynamically balancing the robot 100.

[0030] The first position (solid lines) associated with LCBBI and the second position (dashed lines) associated with LCBBI of the counter-balance body 300 of FIG. 1C are depicted as exemplary positions only, and are not intended to represent a complete range of motion of the counter-balance body 300 relative to the IPB 200. For instance, in other examples, the counter-balance body 300 may move/pitch around the lateral axis (y-axis) in the first direction (e.g., counter-clockwise direction) to positions having rotational angles OCBB greater than the second rotational angle 0CBB2 associated with the second position (dashed lines) and/or in the second direction (e.g., clockwise direction) to positions having rotational angles OCBB less than the first rotational angle OCBB I associated with the first position (solid lines). Moreover, the counter-balance body 300 may move/pitch around the lateral axis (y-axis) relative to the IPB 200 at any position between the first position (solid lines) and the second position (dashed lines) shown in FIG. 1C.

[0031] Referring back to FIGS. 1 A and 1B, the at least one leg 400 includes a right leg 400a and a left leg 400b. The right leg 400a includes a corresponding first end 410, 410a rotatably coupled to the second end portion 220 of the IPB 200 and a corresponding second end 420, 420a rotatably coupled to a corresponding right drive wheel 500, 500a.

A right hip joint 412 may rotatably couple the first end 4l0a of the right leg 400a to the second end portion 220 of the IPB 200 to allow at least a portion of the right leg 400a to move/pitch around the lateral axis (y-axis) relative to the IPB 200. A leg actuator 413 associated with the hip joint 412 may cause an upper portion 401, 40la of the right leg 400a to move/pitch around the lateral axis (y-axis) relative to the IPB 200. In some configurations, the right leg 400a includes the corresponding upper portion 401, 40 la and a corresponding lower portion 402, 402a. The upper portion 40 la may extend from the hip joint 412 at the first end 4l0a to a corresponding knee joint 414 and the lower portion 402a may extend from the knee joint 414 to the second end 420a.

[0032] The right leg 400a may include a corresponding right ankle joint 422, 422a configured to rotatably couple the right drive wheel 500a to the second end 420a of the right leg 400a. Here, the right ankle joint 422a may be associated with a wheel axle coupled for common rotation with the right drive wheel 500a and extending substantially parallel to the lateral axis (y-axis). The right drive wheel 500a may include a

corresponding torque actuator (drive motor) 510, 5l0a configured to apply a

corresponding axle torque T a (FIG. 1B) for rotating the right drive wheel 500a about the ankle joint 422a to move the right drive wheel 500a across the ground surface 12 along the fore-aft axis (x-axis). For instance, the axle torque T a may cause the right drive wheel 500a to rotate in a first direction for moving the robot 100 in a forward direction along the fore-aft axis (x-axis) and/or cause the right drive wheel 500a to rotate in an opposite second direction for moving the robot 100 in a rearward direction along the fore-aft axis (x-axis).

[0033] The left leg 400b similarly includes a corresponding first end 410, 410b rotatably coupled to the second portion 220 of the IPB 200 and a corresponding second end 420, 420b rotatably coupled to a corresponding left drive wheel 500, 500b. A corresponding hip joint 412 may rotatably couple the first end 4l0b of the left leg 400b to the second end portion 220 of the IPB 200 to allow at least a portion of the left leg 400b to move/pitch around the lateral axis (y-axis) relative to the IPB 200. A corresponding leg actuator 413 associated with the left hip joint 412 may cause a corresponding upper portion 401, 401b of the left leg 400b to move/pitch around the lateral axis (y-axis) relative to the IPB 200. As with the right leg 400a, the left leg 400b may include the corresponding upper portion 401, 40 lb and a corresponding lower portion 402, 402b.

The upper portion 401b may extend from the hip joint 412 at the first end 410b to a corresponding knee joint 414 and the lower portion 402b may extend from the knee joint 414 to the second end 420b.

[0034] The left leg 400b may include a corresponding left ankle joint 422, 422b configured to rotatably couple the left drive wheel 500b to the second end 420b of the left leg 400b. Here, the left ankle joint 422b may be associated with a wheel axle coupled for common rotation with the left drive wheel 500b and extending substantially parallel to the lateral axis (y-axis). As with the right drive wheel 500a, the left drive wheel 500b may include a corresponding torque actuator (e.g., drive motor) 510b configured to apply a corresponding axle torque T a for rotating the left drive wheel 500b about the ankle joint 422b to move the left drive wheel 500b across the ground surface 12 along the fore-aft axis (x-axis). For instance, the axle torque T a may cause the left drive wheel 500b to rotate in the first direction for moving the robot 100 in the forward direction along the fore-aft axis (x-axis) and/or cause the left drive wheel 500b to rotate in the opposite second direction for moving the robot 100 in the rearward direction along the fore-aft axis (x-axis).

[0035] The corresponding axle torques T a applied to each of the drive wheels 500a,

500b may vary to maneuver the robot 100 across the ground surface 12. For instance, an axle torque T ; ,R applied to the right drive wheel 500a that is greater than an axle torque TaL applied to the left drive wheel 500b may cause the robot 100 to turn to the left, while applying a greater axle torque T a to the left drive wheel 500b than to the right drive wheel 500a may cause the robot 100 to turn to the right. Similarly, applying substantially the same magnitude of axle torque T a to each of the drive wheels 500a, 500b may cause the robot 100 to move substantially straight across the ground surface 12 in either the forward or reverse directions. The magnitude of axle torque T a applied to each of the drive wheels 500a, 500b also controls velocity of the robot 100 along the fore-aft axis (x- axis). Optionally, the drive wheels 500a, 500b may rotate in opposite directions to allow the robot 100 to change orientation by swiveling on the ground surface 12. Thus, each axle torque T a may be applied to the corresponding drive wheel 500 independent of the axle torque T a (if any) applied to the other drive wheel 500.

[0036] FIG. 1B shows the right ankle joint 422a (e g., wheel axle) rotatably coupling the right drive wheel 500a to the second end 420a of the right leg 400a and exerting an axle force F a . The left ankle joint 422b similarly exerts a corresponding axle force F a (not shown). The axle forces F a may assist in adjusting the pose P of the robot 100 and/or be controlled for balancing the robot 100. The axle force F a is generated based on a magnitude of horizontal force F x exerted on the corresponding ankle joint 422 along the fore-aft axis (x-axis), a magnitude of vertical force F z exerted on the corresponding ankle joint 422 along a vertical axis (z-axis), and the magnitude of axle torque T a applied by the corresponding torque actuator 510 to the correspond corresponding wheel 500.

[0037] In some implementations, each leg 400 has a variable length extending between the first and second ends 410, 420 of the corresponding leg 400. For instance, the lower portion 402 of each leg 400 may rotate relative to the corresponding upper portion 401 about the knee joint 414 to enable the leg 400 to retract and expand.

Referring to FIG. 1B, rotation by the lower portion 402 about the knee joint 414 relative to the upper portion 401 in the counter-clockwise direction may cause the leg 400 to retract. At the same time, the upper portion 401 may rotate about the hip joint 412 relative to the IPB 200 in the clockwise direction to cause the leg 400 to retract.

Similarly, rotation by the lower portion 402 about the knee joint 414 relative to the upper portion 401 in the clockwise direction and/or rotation by the upper portion 401 about the hip joint 412 relative to the IPB 200 in the counter-clockwise direction may cause the leg 400 to expand. As used herein, retracting the length of the leg 400 may cause a height of the corresponding leg 400 with respect to the ground surface 12 to reduce while expanding the length of the leg 400 may cause the height of the corresponding leg 400 with respect to the ground surface 12 to increase. In some examples, the height of the leg 400 is defined as a distance along the vertical axis (z-axis) between the ground surface 12 (or the corresponding ankle joint 422) supporting the robot 100 and the corresponding knee joint 414. In other examples, the height of the leg 400 is defined as a distance along the vertical axis (z-axis) between the ground surface 12 (or the corresponding ankle joint 422) and the corresponding hip joint 412 rotatably coupling the corresponding first end 410 of the leg 400 to the second end portion 220 of the IPB 200.

[0038] In some implementations, retracting the length of both legs 400 causes an overall height of the robot 100 to decrease while expanding the length of both legs 400 causes the overall height of the robot 100 to increase. For instance, the robot 100 may need to lower, for example by crouching, to clear obstacles such as, without limitation, doorways, overhangs, light fixtures, or ceilings. It may also be desirable to lower the robot 100 to shift the CM downward to increase stability in certain scenarios. On the other hand, an increase to the overall height of the robot 100 may be required to reach or place a target object on a shelf. Altering the height of the robot 100 simultaneously alters the pose P, and may cause substantive shifts in the CM of the robot 100 that require actuation of the counter-balance body 300 to move relative to the IPB 200 to maintain balance of the robot 100. The heights of the legs 400 may be dynamically controlled to target heights to assist with turning maneuvers as the robot 100 traverses along the ground surface 12. For instance, dynamically adjusting the height of each leg 400 independently from one another may allow the robot 100 to lean and bank into turns, thereby enhancing maneuverability of the robot 100 while traversing across the ground surface 12.

[0039] Referring back to FIG. 1 A, retracting and expanding the length of each leg

400 may be controlled via a corresponding belt drive actuator 415 configured to drive a belt 417 coupled for common rotation with the corresponding knee joint 414. For instance, each leg 400 may include a corresponding belt drive actuator 415 disposed at or near the corresponding hip joint 412 and the corresponding belt 417 may have a first end coupled to the actuator 415 and a second end coupled to the knee joint 414. Here, the belt drive actuator 415 may rotate the corresponding upper portion 401 relative to the IPB 200 and drive the belt 417 in one direction to prismatically extend/expand the length of the leg 400 by causing the corresponding lower portion 402 to rotate about the knee joint 414 relative to the upper portion 401 in the clockwise direction (relative to the view of FIG. 1A). On the other hand, the belt drive actuator 415 may drive the belt 417 in the opposite direction to prismatically retract the length of the leg 400 by causing the corresponding lower portion 402 to rotate about the knee joint 414 relative to the upper portion 401 in the counter-clockwise direction (relative to the view of FIG. 1A). The belt 417 may include a continuous loop extending along the upper portion 402 of each leg 400 or may include terminal ends each connected to a respective one of the belt drive actuator 415 or the knee joint 414. The belt drive actuator 415 may include a ball-screw type actuator. In some examples, the belt drive actuator 415 and belt 417 employs a 2: 1 belt coupling so that the lower portion 402 rotates about the knee joint 414 relative to the upper portion 401 at twice the angle of the rotation of the upper portion 401 about the hip joint 415, thereby causing the second end 420 of the leg 400 to move on a straight line equivalent to a linear rail. Optionally, instead of a two-link leg (e.g., upper and lower portions 401, 402), the at least one leg 400 may include a single link that prismatically extends/retracts linearly such that the second end 420 of the leg 400 prismatically moves away/toward the IPB 200 along a linear rail. Accordingly, the at least one leg 400 includes a prismatic leg having the first end 410 prismatically coupled to the second end portion 220 of the IPB 200 and configured to provide prismatic extension/retraction via actuation of the belt drive actuator 415 to drive the belt 417 in corresponding first or second directions. In other configurations, the knee joint 414 may employ a

corresponding rotational actuator for rotating the lower portion 402 relative to the upper portion 401 in lieu of the belt 417 driven by the belt drive actuator 415 disposed at or near the hip joint 412.

[0040] In some implementations, the robot 100 further includes one or more appendages, such as an articulated arm 600 disposed on the IPB 200 and configured to move relative to the IPB 200. The articulated arm 600 may have five-degrees of freedom. Moreover, the articulated arm 600 may be interchangeably referred to as a manipulator arm, a manipulator head, or simply an appendage. While FIGS. 1 A-1E show the articulated arm 600 disposed on the second end portion 220 of the IPB 200, the articulated arm 600 may be disposed on the first end portion 210 of the IPB 200 in other configurations. The articulated arm 600 extends between a proximal first end 610 and a distal second end 620. Referring to FIG. IB, the first end 610 connects to the IPB 200 at a first articulated arm joint Jo 650. The first articulated arm joint Jo 650 may be disposed between the left and right hip joints 412 to center the articulated arm 600 between the left and right sides of the IPB 200. In some examples, the first articulated arm joint Jo 650 rotatably couples the proximal first end 610 of the articulated arm 600 to the IPB 200 to enable the manipulator arm 600 to rotate relative to the IPB 200. For instance, the articulated arm 600 may move/pitch about the lateral axis (y-axis) relative to the IPB 200. A rotational actuator 652 (e g., manipulator head actuator) may be positioned at or near the first articulated arm joint Jo 650 for rotating the articulated arm 600 (e g., manipulator head) about the lateral axis (y-axis). The rotational actuator 652 may include an electric motor, electro-hydraulic servo, piezo-electric actuator, solenoid actuator, pneumatic actuator, or other actuator technology suitable for accurately effecting movement of the articulated arm 600.

[0041] In some scenarios, the articulated arm 600 rotates at the first articulated arm joint Jo 650 about the lateral axis (y-axis) relative to the IPB 200 in the direction of gravity (e g., in the clockwise direction relative to the view of FIG 1B) to lower the CM of the robot 100. The robot 100 may lower the CM closer to the ground surface while executing turning maneuvers. The counter-balance body 300 may also simultaneously rotate about the lateral axis (y-axis) relative to the IPB 200 in the direction of gravity (e.g., in the counter-clockwise direction relative to the view of FIG. IB) to assist in lowering the CM of the robot 100. Here, the articulated arm 600 and the counter-balance body 300 may cancel out any shifting in the CM of the robot 100 in the forward or rearward direction along the fore-aft axis (x-axis), while still effectuating the CM of the robot 100 shift downward closer to the ground surface 12.

[0042] An end effector 700 may be disposed on the distal second end 620 of the manipulator arm 600. The end effector 700 may include one or more actuators 702

(grippers) that may be configured to grip and manipulate a target object. Additionally or alternatively, the end effector 700 may employ a vacuum device and/or one or more suction cups 704 (FIG. 1 A) configured to apply suction for gripping and holding a target object when the end effector 700 is positioned on the target object. FIG. 1B shows the end effector 700 exerting a corresponding end effector force Fee. The manipulator arm 600 and/or the end effector 700 may include perception sensors for identifying objects in relation to the robot 100.

[0043] The articulated arm 600 may include two or more portions. In the examples shown in FIGS. 1A-1C, the articulated arm 600 includes a first portion 601, a second portion 602, and a third portion 603. The first portion 601 may extend between the proximal first end 610 connected to the IPB 200 via the first articulated arm joint Jo 650 and a second articulated arm joint Ji 660. The second portion 602 may extend between the second articulated arm joint Ji 660 and a third articulated arm joint h 670. The third portion 603 may extend between the third articulated arm joint J2 670 and the distal second end 620 of the articulated arm 600 that connects to the end effector 700. As with the first articulated arm joint Jo 650, the second and third articulated arm joints Ji 660, J2 670 may each be associated with a corresponding actuator 662, 672 configured to move each portion 602, 603 relative to one another and relative to the IPB 200. For instance, the rotational actuator 652 associated with the first articulated arm joint Jo 650 may cause the first portion 601 of the articulated arm 600 to move/pitch about the lateral axis (y- axis) relative to the IPB 200. As the second and third portions 602, 603 of the articulated arm 600 are connected to the first portion 601 via the second and third articulated arm joints Ji 660, J2 670, the rotation by the first portion 601 about the lateral axis (y-axis) at the first articulated arm joint Jo 650 may also cause the second and third portions 602, 603 to simultaneously move relative to the IPB 200.

[0044] Similarly, the rotational actuator 662 associated with the second articulated arm joint Ji 660 may cause the second portion 602 of the articulated arm 600 to move/pitch about the lateral axis (y-axis) relative to both the IPB 200 and the first portion

601 of the articulated arm 600. Moreover, the rotational actuator 672 associated with the third articulated arm joint J2 670 may cause the third portion 603 of the articulated arm

600 to move/pitch about the lateral axis (y-axis) relative to the IPB 200 and the first and second portions 601, 602 of the articulated arm 600. The actuators 652, 662, 672 may be controlled independently of one another to move the corresponding portions 601, 602,

603 alone or in concert for positioning the end effector 700 on a target object and/or altering the pose P of the robot 100. [0045] In some configurations, the counter-balance body 300 corresponds to a first counter-balance body 300 disposed on the first end portion 210 of the IPB 200 and the articulated arm 600 corresponds to a second counter-balance body 600 disposed on the second end portion 210 of the IPB 200. Similar to the first counter-balance body 300 discussed above, the articulated arm 600 may be configured to move relative to the IPB 200 for altering the pose P of the robot 100 by moving the CM of the robot 100 relative to the vertical gravitational axis V g . For instance, the articulated arm 600 may generate/impart a moment MAA (rotational force) (FIG. 1B) at the first articulated arm joint Jo based on a rotational angle of the articulated arm 600 relative to the vertical gravitational axis Vg. Thus, the articulated arm 600 may move relative to the IPB 200 to alter the pose P of the robot 100 by moving the CM of the robot 100 relative to the vertical gravitational axis V g . In some configurations, a gyroscope could be disposed at the first articulated arm joint Jo to impart the moment MAA (rotational force) for maintaining balance of the robot 100 in the upright position.

[0046] Referring to FIGS. ID and 1E, in some implementations, the robot 100 includes left and right appendages (e.g., two articulated arms) 600a, 600b each disposed on the IPB 200 and configured to move relative to the IPB 200. The appendages 600a, 600b may be disposed on the first end portion 210 of the IPB 200 or the second end portion 220 of the IPB 200. As with the single articulated arm 600, each appendage 600a, 600b extends between a respective proximal first end 610 and a respective distal second end 620, and the first end 610 connects to the IPB 200 at a corresponding first articulated arm joint Jo 650. Here, each first articulated arm joint Jo 650 may be disposed on an opposite side of the IPB 200. Each appendage 600a, 600b may also include the one or more respective portions 601, 602, 603 connected by respective articulated arm joints Ji 660, J2 670 as discussed above with reference to the single articulated arm 600 of

FIGS. 1 A-1C. Accordingly, each appendage 600a, 600b may be controlled to operate in substantially the same manner as the single articulated arm 600.

[0047] FIG. ID shows the appendages 600a, 600b each having the corresponding first and second portions 601, 602 extending substantially parallel to one another and away from the IPB 200, while the corresponding third portion 603 extends substantially perpendicular to the first and second portions 601, 602 to point the corresponding distal second end 620 downward toward the ground surface 12. Here, the position of the appendages 600a, 600b may align the end effectors 700 and associated actuators 702 to grasp and carry an object. The appendages 600a, 600b could also point downward as shown in FIG. 1D for adjusting the moment of inertia about the vertical z-axis to assist with turning maneuvers. FIG. IE shows the appendages 600a, 600b fully

extended/deployed outward from the IPB 200 with each appendage 600a, 600b having the corresponding portions 601, 602, 603 substantially aligned with one another and extending substantially parallel to the ground surface 12. In some examples, the robot 100 may fully extend one or both of appendages 600a, 600b as shown in FIG. IE for adjusting the moment of inertia about the vertical z-axis.

[0048] Referring back to FIG. 1C, the robot 100 includes a control system 10 configured to monitor and control operation of the robot 100. In some implementations, the robot 100 is configured to operate autonomously and/or semi-autonomously.

However, a user may also operate the robot by providing commands/directions to the robot 100. In the example shown, the control system 10 includes a controller 102 (e.g., data processing hardware), memory hardware 104, an inertial measurement unit 106, actuators 108, one or more sensors 110, and one or more power sources 112. The control system 10 is not limited to the components shown, and may include additional or less components without departing from the scope of the present disclosure. The components may communicate via wireless or wired connections and may be distributed across multiple locations of the robot 100. In some configurations, the control system 10 interfaces with a remote computing device and/or a user. For instance, the control system 10 may include various components for communicating with the robot 100, such as a joystick, buttons, wired communication ports, and/or wireless communication ports for receiving inputs from the remote computing device and/or user, and providing feedback to the remote computing device and/or user.

[0049] The controller 102 corresponds to data processing hardware that may include one or more general purpose processors, digital signal processors, and/or application specific integrated circuits (ASICs). In some implementations, the controller 102 is a purpose-built embedded device configured to perform specific operations with one or more subsystems of the robot 100. The memory hardware 104 is in communication with the controller 102 and may include one or more non-transitory computer-readable storage media such as volatile and/or non-volatile storage components. For instance, the memory hardware 104 may be associated with one or more physical devices in communication with one another and may include optical, magnetic, organic, or other types of memory or storage. The memory hardware 104 is configured to, inter alia, to store instructions (e.g., computer-readable program instructions), that when executed by the controller 102, cause the controller to perform numerous operations, such as, without limitation, altering the pose P of the robot 100 for maintaining balance, maneuvering the robot 100 across the ground surface 12, transporting objects, and/or executing a sit-to-stand routine. The controller 102 may directly or indirectly interact with the inertial measurement unit 106, the actuators 108, the sensor(s) 110, and the power source(s) 112 for monitoring and controlling operation of the robot 100.

[0050] The inertial measurement unit 106 is configured to measure an inertial measurement indicative of a movement of the robot 100 that results in a change to the pose P of the robot 100. The inertial measurement measured by the inertial measurement unit 106 may indicate a translation or shift of the CM of the robot 100 relative to the vertical gravitational axis V g . The translation or shift of the CM may occur along one or more of the fore-aft axis (x-axis), the lateral axis (y-axis), or the vertical axis (z-axis).

For instance, the inertial measurement unit 106 may detect and measure an acceleration, a tilt, a roll, a pitch, a rotation, or yaw of the robot 100, as the inertial measurement, using an initial pose P as an inertial reference frame. To detect and to measure, the inertial measurement unit 106 may include at least one of a tri-axial accelerometer, a tri-axial magnetometer, or a tri-axial gyroscope. The tri-axial accelerometer includes circuitry to sense the movement of the robot 100 between poses along a straight line or an axis, such as a position and an orientation of the inertial measurement unit 106. In some examples, the accelerometer may use a mass-spring system or a vibration system configured to determine an acceleration corresponding to a displacement of a mass in the mass-spring system or a stress related to a vibration in the vibration system. The inertial measurement unit 106 may also include a gyroscope, such as the tri-axial gyroscope, to measure a rate of rotation about a defined axis. The gyroscope is configured to sense rotation of the inertial measurement unit 106 such that a sensed rotation is a portion of the inertial measurement output to the controller 102. The controller 102 receives the inertial measurement of the inertial measurement unit 106 and determines shifts in the CM of the robot 100 relative to the vertical gravitational axis V g . Thus, the gyroscope senses rotations of the robot 100 as the robot 100 moves with the gyroscope. The inertial measurement unit 106 may include more than one of the tri-axial accelerometer, the tri- axial magnetometer, or the tri-axial gyroscope to increase accuracy of the inertial measurement unit 106. In some examples, the inertial measurement unit 106 produces three dimensional measurements of a specific force and an angular rate. The inertial measurement unit 106 may also include a microprocessor.

[0051] The controller 102 is configured to process data relating to the inertial measurement unit 106, the actuators 108, and the sensor(s) 110 for operating the robot 100. The controller 102 receives an inertial measurement from the inertial measurement unit 106 (e.g., via a wired or wireless connection) disposed on the robot 100 and instructs actuation of at least one of the actuators 108 to alter a pose P of the robot 100 to move the CM of the robot 100 relative to the vertical gravitational axis V g . In some examples, the controller 102 identifies changes in the inertial measurements between poses P and defines movements by at least one of the counter-balance body 300 or the articulated arm 600 for maintaining balance of the robot 100 by moving the CM relative to the vertical gravitational axis V .

[0052] The actuators 108 may include the tail actuator 352 connected to the tail 300 (e.g., counter-balance body), the leg actuators 413 each connected to the respective leg 400, the drive motors 510 each coupled to the respective drive wheel 500 of the corresponding leg 400, and the manipulator head actuator 652 connected to the manipulator head 600 (e.g., articulated arm). The tail actuator 352 is configured to move the tail 300 relative to the torso 200. For instance, the controller 102 may instruct actuation of the tail actuator 352 to move/pitch the tail 300 about the lateral axis (y-axis) relative to the torso 200. The manipulator head actuator 652 is configured to move the manipulator head 600 relative to the torso 200. For instance, the controller 102 may instruct actuation of the manipulator head actuator 652 to move/pitch the manipulator head 600 about the lateral axis (y-axis) relative to the torso 200. In some examples, the controller 102 actuates the manipulator head actuator 652 to operate the manipulator head 600 as a second counter-balance body for altering the pose P of the robot 100 by moving the CM of the robot 100 relative to the vertical gravitational axis V g . The controller 102 may additionally or alternatively instruct actuation of at least one of the actuator 662 corresponding to the second articulated arm joint (e.g., second manipulator head joint) Ji 660 or the actuator 662 corresponding to the third articulated arm joint (e.g., third manipulator head joint) h 670 for moving at least one of the portions 601, 602, 603 of the manipulator head relative to one another and relative to the torso 200.

[0053] Each leg actuator 413 (disposed at or near the corresponding hip joint 412) is configured to rotate the upper portion 401 of the respective leg 400 relative to the torso 200. For instance, the controller 102 may instruct actuation of the leg actuator 413 or the belt drive actuator 415 associated with the right hip joint 412 to cause the upper portion 401 of the prismatic right leg 400a to move/pitch around the lateral axis (y-axis) relative to the tail 200. Similarly, the controller 102 may instruct actuation of the leg actuator 413 associated with the left hip joint 412 to cause the left leg 400b to move/pitch around the lateral axis (y-axis) relative to the tail 200. In some implementations, the actuators 108 further include the belt drive actuators 415 configured to drive the corresponding belts 417 when actuated by the controller 102. For instance, the controller 102 may instruct actuation of the belt drive actuator 415 in first/second directions to prismatically extend or retract a length of a respective prismatic leg 400 by causing a lower portion 402 of the prismatic leg 400 to rotate about the corresponding knee joint 414 relative to the corresponding upper portion 401. In some configurations, an actuator is disposed at the corresponding knee joint 414 in lieu of the belt drive actuator 415 for moving the lower portion 402 of the leg 400 relative to the upper portion 401.

[0054] Each drive motor 510 is configured to apply the corresponding axle torque (FIG. 1B) for rotating the respective drive wheel 500 about the corresponding ankle joint 422 to move the drive wheel 500 across the ground surface 12 along the fore-aft axis (x- axis). For instance, the axle torque T a may cause the drive wheel 500 to rotate in a first direction for moving the robot 100 in a forward direction along the fore-aft axis (x-axis) and/or cause the drive wheel 500 to rotate in an opposite second direction for moving the robot 100 in a rearward direction along the fore-aft axis (x-axis). The controller 102 may instruct actuation of each drive motor 510 via a corresponding axle torque command

T a cmd that specifies a magnitude and direction of axle torque T a for the drive motor 510 to apply for rotating the respective drive wheel 500 in the forward or backward direction. Based on the inertial measurement received from the inertial measurement unit 106, the controller 102 may provide a corresponding axle torque command T a cmd to at least one of the drive motors 510 to instruct the drive motor 510 to apply the corresponding axle torque T a in order to control tilt to maintain or restore balance of the robot 100.

[0055] The sensor(s) 110 of the control system 10 may include, without limitation, one or more of force sensors, torque sensors, velocity sensors, acceleration sensors, position sensors (linear and/or rotational position sensors), motion sensors, location sensors, load sensors, temperature sensors, touch sensors, depth sensors, ultrasonic range sensors, infrared sensors, object sensors, and/or cameras. The sensors 110 may disposed on the robot 100 at various locations such as the torso 200, tail 300, the at least one leg 400, the drive wheel 500, the articulated arm 600, and/or the end effector 700. The sensors 110 are configured to provide corresponding sensor data to the controller 102 for monitoring and controlling operation of the robot 100 within an environment. In some examples, the controller 102 is configured to receive sensor data from sensors physically separated from the robot 100. For instance, the controller 102 may receive sensor data from a proximity sensor disposed on a target object the robot 100 is configured to locate and transport to a new location.

[0056] The sensor data from the sensors 110 may allow the controller 102 to evaluate conditions for maneuvering the robot 100, altering a pose P of the robot 100, and/or actuating various actuators 108 for moving/rotating mechanical components such as the counter-balance body 300, the at least one leg 400, the drive wheel 500 rotatably coupled to the at least one leg 400, the articulated arm 600, and the end effector 700. In some examples, the sensor data includes rotational positions of the back joint bk, 350, the hip joint(s) 412, and/or the articulated arm joints Jo 650, Ji 660, J2 670 used to indicate a state of at least one of the counter-balance body 300, the at least one leg 400, the articulated arm 600, or the end effector 700. In some examples, the robotic system 10 employs one or more force sensors to measure load on the actuators that move the counter-balance body 300, the at least one leg 400, the drive wheel 500 rotatably coupled to the at least one leg 400, the articulated arm 600, or the end effector 700. The sensors 110 may further include position sensors to sense states of extension, retraction, and/or rotation of the counter-balance body 300, the at least one leg 400, the drive wheel 500 rotatably coupled to the at least one leg 400, the articulated arm 600, or the end effector 700.

[0057] Other sensors 110 may capture sensor data corresponding to the terrain of the environment and/or nearby objects/obstacles to assist with environment recognition and navigation. For instance, some sensors 110 may include RADAR (e.g., for long-range object detection, distance determination, and/or speed determination) LIDAR (e.g., for short-range object detection, distance determination, and/or speed determination), VICON® (e.g., for motion capture), one or more imaging (e.g., stereoscopic cameras for 3D vision), perception sensors, a global positioning system (GPS) device, and/or other sensors for capturing information of the environment in which the robotic system 100 is operating.

[0058] In some implementations, the control system 10 includes one or more power sources 112 configured to power various components of the robot 100. The power sources 112 employed by the robot 100 may include, without limitation, a hydraulic system, an electrical system, energy storage device(s) (e.g. batteries), and/or pneumatic devices. For instance, one or more energy storage devices may provide power to various components (e.g., actuators 108) of the robot 100. The drive motors 510 may include electric motors that receive power from one or more energy storage devices. In some examples, the counter-balance body 300 defines a compartment for storing and retaining energy storage devices. The energy storage devices may be chargeable via wired connections or wireless (e.g. induction) connections to an external power source. Energy storage devices could also be charged using solar energy (e.g., generated via solar panels disposed on the robot 100). In some examples, the energy storage devices are removable so that depleted energy storage devices can be replaced with fully-charged energy storage devices. Gasoline engines could also be employed. A hydraulic system may employ hydraulic motors and cylinders for transmitting pressurized fluid for operating various components of the robot 100.

SIT-TO-STAND

[0059] Referring to FIG. IF, in some implementations, the controller 102 is responsible for controlling the robot 100, lOOa to assume a resting pose P, PR when the robot 100 is not in use. The robot 100 may be powered down while in the resting pose PR. In some examples, an energy storage device (e.g., battery pack(s)) of the robot 100 is electrically connected to an external power source for charging the energy storage device when the robot 100 in the resting pose PR. In other examples, the energy storage device is removed from the robot 100 while in the resting pose PR to undergo a charging event and re-attaches to the robot 100 once the energy storage device is charged. Similarly, a depleted energy storage device may be swapped with a fresh energy storage device while the robot 100 is in the resting pose PR.

[0060] While the robot 100 is in the resting pose PR, FIG. 1F shows the drive wheels 500 and the legs 400 supporting the robot 100 on the ground surface 12. Here, the lower portion 402 and/or the knee joint 414 of each leg 400 may be in contact with the ground surface 12 to support the robot 100 thereon. Each of the legs 400 is in a corresponding retracted position at least partially adjacent the IPB 200 and the at least one arm 600 (e.g., left and right arms in the example shown) is in a corresponding retracted position at least partially adjacent the IPB 200. Each leg 400 has a variable length between the corresponding first and second ends 410, 420 and may assume the retracted position by rotating the corresponding upper portion 401 about the first end 410 of the corresponding leg 400 in a first direction (e.g., clockwise relative to the view of FIG. 1F) to cause the IPB 200 to move downward toward the surface 12. The corresponding lower portion 402 may further rotate about the corresponding knee joint 414 in an opposite second direction (e.g., counter-clockwise relative to the view of FIG. 1F) to further assist with assuming the corresponding leg 400 in the retracted position. [0061] The example of FIG. 1F also shows the at least one arm 600 assuming the retracted position by rotating the at least one arm 600 about the first articulated arm joint 650 downward toward the ground surface 12. In other examples, however, the at least one arm 600 can assume any position while in the resting pose PR without departing from the scope of the present disclosure. Moreover, in the resting pose PR, the counter-balance body 300 crouches over the legs 400 in a resting position associated with longitudinal axis LCBB, R extending substantially perpendicular to the gravitational vertical axis V g . Accordingly, the counter-balance body 300 moves/pitches about the lateral axis (y-axis) downward toward the ground surface 12 to assume the corresponding resting position crouched over the legs 400 in the corresponding retracted positions.

[0062] Referring to FIGS. 1G and 1H, in some implementations, the robot 100, lOOa transitions from the resting pose PR to an intermediary sitting pose P, Psit (FIG. 1G) before assuming a standing pose P, Pstand (FIG. 1H) for operating the robot 100. This intermediary sitting pose Psit is merely illustrative and explanatory in order to depict movement by components of the robot 100 when transitioning from the statically stable resting pose PR to a dynamically stable standing pose Pstand. Accordingly, the sitting pose Psit is not intended to represent a pose that is separate and distinct from the resting and standing poses, but rather illustrates a pose assumed by the robot contemporaneously as the robot 100 moves into the standing pose Pstand. Upon powering on the robot 100, FIG. 1G shows the robot 100 moving (e.g., via operations performed by the controller 102) from the resting pose PR (FIG. 1F) to the sitting pose Ps t by rotating each of the legs 400 about the first end 410 of the leg 400 from the retracted position to a corresponding deployed position. In some examples, the rotating of each of the legs about the first end 410 includes rotating the corresponding upper portion 401 about the corresponding hip joint 412 in the second direction (e.g., counter-clockwise relative to the view of FIG. 1G) from the retracted position to the deployed position. Rotating the legs 400 from the retracted positions to the deployed positions causes the IPB 200 to move upward away from the ground surface 12. In another example (not shown), the counter-balance body 300 moves relative to the IPB 200 and into contact with the ground surface 12. In this example, the counter-balance body 300 pushes off of the ground surface to cause the IPB 200 to move upward away from the ground surface 12. Here, the portion of the counter balance body 300 in contact with the ground surface 12 and the drive wheels 500 are supporting the robot 100.

[0063] With continued reference to FIG. 1G, the counter-balance body 300 may move relative to the IPB 200 when the robot 100 moves from the resting pose PR to the sitting pose Psit to position a center of mass CM, CMsit of the robot 100 substantially over the drive wheels 500. In the example of FIG. 1G, the CM of the robot 100 shifts from a resting center of mass CM, CMR to the sitting CMsit when the robot 100 moves from the resting pose PR (FIG. 1F) to the sitting pose Psit. For instance, the counter-balance body 300 may move/pitch relative to the vertical gravitational axis Vg from the resting position associated with longitudinal axis LCBB R to a sitting position associated with longitudinal axis LCBB, su. The longitudinal axis LCBB, sit may extend substantially parallel/coincident with the vertical gravitational axis Vg.

[0064] Referring to FIG. 1H, in some implementations, the robot 100 moves from the sitting pose Psit (FIG. 1G) to the standing pose Pstand by altering the length of each leg

400. For instance, the example of FIG. 1H shows the length of each leg 400 expanding to cause the robot 100 to move from the standing pose Pstand from the sitting pose Psit. The robot 100 (e.g., via operations performed by the controller 102) may increase/expand the length of each leg 400 by rotating the corresponding upper portion 401 about the corresponding hip joint 412 in the second direction (e.g., clockwise relative to the view of FIG. 1H) and/or rotating the corresponding lower portion 402 about the corresponding knee joint 414 in the first direction (e.g., counter-clockwise relative to the view of FIG. 1H). The leg 400 may prismatically extend/expand to increase the length of each leg 400 using the techniques discussed above. The robot 100 may further move the counter- balance body 300 relative to the IPB 200 to maintain the robot 100 in the standing pose Pstand, i.e., maintain balance of the robot 100 during operation of the robot 100 in the standing pose Pstand.

[0065] Moreover, the robot 100 may move the at least one arm 600 from the corresponding retracted position (FIG. 1F) (or any other position) to an extended position away from the IPB 200 to maintain balance while in the standing pose Pstand. Moving the at least one arm 600 from the retracted position to the extended position may assist in balancing the CM of the robot 100 over the drive wheels 500 while in the standing pose Pstand. For instance, the at least one arm 600 may rotate about the first articulated arm joint 650 in the second direction (e.g., clockwise relative to the view of FIG. 1H) to move the arm 600 to the extended position away from the IPB 200. In some implementations, the at least one arm 600 first moves to an initial extended position (FIG. 1G), with the first portion 601 extending away from the IPB 200 and the second portion 602 extending downward toward the surface 12, before moving onto another extended (FIG. 1H), with both the first and second portions 601, 602 extending away from the IPB 200 and substantially coincident with one another. The extended position with both portions 601, 602 extending away from the IPB 200 may maintain the standing pose Pstand by maintaining balance of the CM of the robot 100 over the drive wheels 500.

[0066] In some examples, the robot 100 further alters

[0067] Referring to FIG. 2, in some implementations, a robot 100, lOOb includes an inverted pendulum body (IPB) 200, a counter-balance body 300 disposed on the IPB 200, at least one leg 400 having a first end 410 and a second end 420, and a drive wheel 500 rotatably coupled to the second end 420 of the at least one leg 400. In view of the substantial similarity in structure and function of the components associated with the robot lOOa with respect to the robot 100b, like reference numerals are used herein after and in the drawings to identify like components.

[0068] As with the robot 100a of FIGS. 1A-1E, the robot lOOb has a vertical gravitational axis V , which is perpendicular to a ground surface 12 along a direction of gravity, and a center of mass CM, which is a point where the robot 100 has a zero sum distribution of mass. The robot 100 further has a pose P based on the CM relative to the vertical gravitational axis Y g to define a particular attitude or stance assumed by the robot 100. The attitude of the robot 100 can be defined by an orientation or an angular position of an object in space.

[0069] The IPB 200 includes the first end portion 210 and the second end portion 220. While the counter-balance body 300 of the robot lOOa of FIGS. 1A-1E is disposed on the first end portion 210 of the IPB 200, the counter-balance body 300 of the robot lOOb of FIG. 2 is disposed on the second end portion 220 of the IPB 200. In a similar fashion to the counter-balance body 300 of the robot lOOa, the counter-balance body 300 of the robot 100b may move/pitch around a lateral axis (y-axis) that extends

perpendicular to the gravitational vertical axis V g and a fore-aft axis (x-axis) of the robot 100 for altering a pose P of the robot 100b. For instance, the counter-balance body 300 may move/pitch relative to the gravitational vertical axis Vgin a first direction for shifting the CM of the robot lOOb towards the ground surface 12 and in an opposite second direction for shifting the CM of the robot lOOb away from the ground surface 12.

Accordingly, rotational movement by the counter-balance body 300 relative to the IPB 200 may be used for balancing and maintaining the robot lOOb in an upright position.

[0070] The at least one leg 400 of the robot lOOb may include the variable length right and left legs 400a, 400b each including a corresponding first end 410 rotatably coupled to the second end portion 220 of the IPB 200 and a corresponding second end 420 rotatably coupled to a corresponding right drive wheel 500a, 500b. In a similar fashion to the robot 100a, the robot 100b may employ various actuators for altering the lengths of the legs 400a, 400b. For instance, a length/height of at least one of the legs 400a, 400b may be altered lean the drive wheels 500a, 500b into a turning direction to assist with a turning maneuver.

[0071] With continued reference to FIG. 2, the robot 100b further includes an articulated arm 600 disposed on the IPB 200 and configured to move relative to the IPB 200. The articulated arm 600 may have five-degrees of freedom. By contrast to the robot 100a of FIGS. 1A-1E having the articulated arm 600 disposed on the second end portion 220 of the IPB 200, the robot lOOb includes the articulated arm 600 disposed on the first end portion 210 of the IPB 200. The articulated arm 600 extends between a proximal first end 610 rotatably coupled to the IPB 200 and a distal second end 620. In the example shown, the articulated arm 600 includes two portions 601, 602 rotatable relative to one another and also the IPB 200; however, the articulated arm 600 may include more or less portions without departing from the scope of the present disclosure. An end effector 700 may be coupled to the distal second end 620 of the articulated arm 600 and may include one or more actuators 702 for gripping/grasping objects. The end effector 700 may optionally include one or more suction cups 704 configured to provide a vacuum seal between the end effector 700 and a target object to allow the articulated arm 600 to carry the target object.

[0072] The articulated arm 600 may move/pitch about the lateral axis (y-axis) relative to the IPB 200. For instance, the articulated arm may rotate about the lateral axis (y-axis) relative to the IPB 200 in the direction of gravity to lower the CM of the robot 100 while executing turning maneuvers. The counter-balance body 300 may also simultaneously rotate about the lateral axis (y-axis) relative to the IPB 200 in the direction of gravity to assist in lowering the CM of the robot lOOb. Here, the articulated arm 600 and the counter-balance body 300 may cancel out any shifting in the CM of the robot lOOb in the forward or rearward direction along the fore-aft axis (x-axis), while still effectuating the CM of the robot lOOb shift downward closer to the ground surface 12.

[0073] In a similar fashion to the robot 100a of FIGS. 1F-1H, the robot lOOb may assume a resting pose PR with the drive wheels 500 and legs 400 supporting the robot lOOb on the ground surface 12, move from the resting pose PR into a sitting pose Psit by moving the counter-balance body 300 relative to the inverted pendulum body away from the ground surface 12 to position the CM of the robot 100 substantially over the drive wheels 500, and move from the sitting pose Ps¾ to a standing pose Pstand by altering a length of each leg 400.

[0074] Referring to FIG. 3, in some implementations, a robot 100, lOOc includes an inverted pendulum body (IPB) 200, a counter-balance body 300 disposed on the IPB 200, at least one leg 400 having a first end 410 and a second end 420, and a drive wheel 500 rotatably coupled to the second end 420 of the at least one leg 400. In view of the substantial similarity in structure and function of the components associated with the robot lOOa with respect to the robot 100b, like reference numerals are used herein after and in the drawings to identify like components.

[0075] As with the robot 100a of FIGS. 1A-1E, the robot 100c has a vertical gravitational axis V g , which is perpendicular to a ground surface 12 along a direction of gravity, and a center of mass CM, which is a point where the robot 100 has a zero sum distribution of mass. The robot 100 further has a pose P based on the CM relative to the vertical gravitational axis V g to define a particular attitude or stance assumed by the robot lOOc. The attitude of the robot 100 can be defined by an orientation or an angular position of an object in space.

[0076] The IPB 200 includes the first end portion 210 and the second end portion 220. While the counter-balance body 300 of the robot lOOa of FIGS. 1A-1E is disposed on the first end portion 210 of the IPB 200, the counter-balance body 300 of the robot lOOc of FIG. 3 is disposed on the second end portion 220 of the IPB 200. In a similar fashion to the counter-balance body 300 of the robot lOOa, the counter-balance body 300 of the robot 100c may move/pitch around a lateral axis (y-axis) that extends

perpendicular to the gravitational vertical axis Vg and a fore-aft axis (x-axis) of the robot lOOc for altering a pose P of the robot lOOc. For instance, the counter-balance body 300 may move/pitch relative to the gravitational vertical axis Vgin a first direction for shifting the CM of the robot lOOc towards the ground surface 12 and in an opposite second direction for shifting the CM of the robot lOOc away from the ground surface 12.

Accordingly, rotational movement by the counter-balance body 300 relative to the IPB 200 may be used for balancing and maintaining the robot lOOc in an upright position.

[0077] The at least one leg 400 of the robot lOOc may include the variable length right and left legs 400a, 400b each including a corresponding first end 410 rotatably coupled to the second end portion 220 of the IPB 200 and a corresponding second end 420 rotatably coupled to a corresponding right drive wheel 500a, 500b. In a similar fashion to the robot lOOa, the robot lOOc may employ various actuators for altering the lengths of the legs 400a, 400b. For instance, a length/height of at least one of the legs 400a, 400b may be altered lean the drive wheels 500a, 500b into a turning direction to assist with a turning maneuver.

[0078] With continued reference to FIG. 3, the robot 100c further includes an articulated arm 600 disposed on the IPB 200 and configured to move relative to the IPB 200. The articulated arm 600 may have five-degrees of freedom. By contrast to the robot lOOa of FIGS. 1A-1E having the articulated arm 600 disposed on the second end portion 220 of the IPB 200, the robot lOOc of FIG. 3 includes the articulated arm 600 disposed on the first end portion 210 of the IPB 200. The articulated arm 600 extends between a proximal first end 610 rotatably coupled to the IPB 200 and a distal second end 620. In the example shown, the articulated arm 600 includes two portions 601, 602 rotatable relative to one another and also the IPB 200; however, the articulated arm 600 may include more or less portions without departing from the scope of the present disclosure. An end effector 700 may be coupled to the distal second end 620 of the articulated arm 600 and may include one or more actuators 702 for gripping/grasping objects. The end effector 700 may optionally include one or more suction cups 704 configured to provide a vacuum seal between the end effector 700 and a target object to allow the articulated arm 600 to carry the target object.

[0079] The articulated arm 600 may move/pitch about the lateral axis (y-axis) relative to the IPB 200. For instance, the articulated arm may rotate about the lateral axis (y-axis) relative to the IPB 200 in the direction of gravity to lower the CM of the robot lOOc while executing turning maneuvers. The counter-balance body 300 may also simultaneously rotate about the lateral axis (y-axis) relative to the IPB 200 in the direction of gravity to assist in lowering the CM of the robot lOOc. Here, the articulated arm 600 and the counter-balance body 300 may cancel out any shifting in the CM of the robot lOOc in the forward or rearward direction along the fore-aft axis (x-axis), while still effectuating the CM of the robot lOOb shift downward closer to the ground surface 12.

[0080] In a similar fashion to the robot 100a of FIGS. 1F-1H, the robot lOOc may assume a resting pose PR with the drive wheels 500 and legs 400 supporting the robot lOOc on the ground surface 12, move from the resting pose PR into a sitting pose Psit by moving the counter-balance body 300 relative to the inverted pendulum body away from the ground surface 12 to position the CM of the robot 100 substantially over the drive wheels 500, and move from the sitting pose Ps¾ to a standing pose Pstand by altering a length of each leg 400.

[0081] FIG. 4 illustrates a method 1400 for operating a robot 100. At block 1402, the method 1400 includes assuming a resting pose P, PR of the robot on a surface 12. The robot 100 includes an inverted pendulum body (IPB) 200 having first and second end portions 210, 220 and defining a forward driving direction (e.g., along the fore-aft axis (x-axis)). The robot further includes a counter-balance body 300, at least one arm having proximal and distal ends, and at least one leg 400 having first and second ends 410, 420. The counter-balance body 300 is disposed on the IPB 200 and configured to move relative to the IPB 200, while the first end 410 of the at least one leg 400 is prismatically coupled to the second end portion 220 of the IPB 200. The counter-balance body 300 may be disposed on the first end portion 210 of the IPB 200 or the second end portion

220 of the IPB 200. The proximal end of the at least one arm 600 is connected to the IPB 200 and configured to move relative to the IPB 200. The robot 100 further includes a drive wheel 500 rotatably coupled to the second end 420 of the at least one leg 400.

[0082] In the resting pose PR, the drive wheel 500 and the at least one leg 400 may support the robot 100 on the ground surface 12. Moreover, in the resting pose PR, the at least one leg 400 may be in a corresponding retracted position at least partially adjacent the IPB 200.

[0083] At block 1404, the method 1400 also includes moving from the resting pose PR to a sitting pose Psit of the robot 100 by moving the counter-balance body 300 relative to the inverted pendulum body away from the ground surface 12 to position a center of mass CMsit of the robot 100 substantially over the drive wheel 500.

[0084] At block 1406, the method 1400 includes moving from the sitting pose Psu to a standing pose Pstand by altering a length of the at least one leg 400. The leg 400 having a variable length between the first and second ends 410, 420 of the at least one leg. The leg 400 may prismatically extend or retract.

[0085] Additionally, the method 1400 may maintain the standing pose Pstand by moving the counter-balance body 300 relative to the IPB 200 and/or moving the at least one arm 600 to an extended position away from the IPB 200. In some examples, when moving the resting pose PR to the sitting pose Psit of the robot 100, the method 1400 also includes at least one of: rotating the at least one leg 400 about the first end 410 of the at least one leg 400 from the retracted position to a deployed position, causing the IPB 200 to move upward away from the surface 12; or moving the counter-balance body 300 relative to the IPB 200 and into contact with the ground surface 12, causing the IPB 200 to move upward away from the surface 12. The at least one leg 400 may include an upper portion 401 and a lower portion 402. The upper portion 401 may extend between the first end 410 rotatably coupled to the second end portion 220 of the IPB 200 and a knee joint 414. The lower portion 402 may be rotatably coupled to the knee joint and extend between the knee joint to the second end 420 rotatably coupled to the drive wheel 500. Thus, in these examples, altering the length of the at least one leg 400 includes rotating the lower portion 402 about the knee j oint 414 relative to the upper portion 401. For instance, the leg 400 may include the prismatic leg 400 that uses the belt drive actuator 415 configured to drive the belt 417 coupled for common rotation with the corresponding knee joint 414. In other examples, when the leg 400 only includes a single link, altering the length of the leg 400 includes prismatically extending the leg 400 linearly so that the second end 420 (and drive wheel 500 rotatably coupled thereto) prismatically moves away from the IPB 200 along a linear rail.

[0086] FIG. 5 is schematic view of an example computing device 1500 that may be used to implement the systems and methods described in this document. The computing device 1500 is intended to represent various forms of digital computers, such as laptops, desktops, workstations, personal digital assistants, servers, blade servers, mainframes, and other appropriate computers. The components shown here, their connections and relationships, and their functions, are meant to be exemplary only, and are not meant to limit implementations of the inventions described and/or claimed in this document.

[0087] The computing device 1500 includes a processor 1510 (also referred to as data processing hardware), memory 1520 (also referred to as memory hardware), a storage device 530, a high-speed interface/controller 1540 connecting to the memory 1520 and high-speed expansion ports 1550, and a low speed interface/controller 1560 connecting to a low speed bus 1570 and a storage device 1530. Each of the components 1510, 1520, 1530, 1540, 1550, and 1560, are interconnected using various busses, and may be mounted on a common motherboard or in other manners as appropriate. The processor 1510 can process instructions for execution within the computing device 1500, including instructions stored in the memory 1520 or on the storage device 1530 to display graphical information for a graphical user interface (GUI) on an external input/output device, such as display 1580 coupled to high speed interface 1540. In other implementations, multiple processors and/or multiple buses may be used, as appropriate, along with multiple memories and types of memory. Also, multiple computing devices 1500 may be connected, with each device providing portions of the necessary operations (e.g., as a server bank, a group of blade servers, or a multi -processor system).

[0088] The memory 1520 stores information non-transitorily within the computing device 1500. The memory 1520 may be a computer-readable medium, a volatile memory unit(s), or non-volatile memory unit(s). The non-transitory memory 1520 may be physical devices used to store programs (e.g., sequences of instructions) or data (e.g., program state information) on a temporary or permanent basis for use by the computing device 1500. Examples of non-volatile memory include, but are not limited to, flash memory and read-only memory (ROM) / programmable read-only memory (PROM) / erasable programmable read-only memory (EPROM) / electronically erasable programmable read-only memory (EEPROM) (e.g., typically used for firmware, such as boot programs). Examples of volatile memory include, but are not limited to, random access memory (RAM), dynamic random access memory (DRAM), static random access memory (SRAM), phase change memory (PCM) as well as disks or tapes.

[0089] The storage device 1530 is capable of providing mass storage for the computing device 1500. In some implementations, the storage device 1530 is a computer-readable medium. In various different implementations, the storage device 1530 may be a floppy disk device, a hard disk device, an optical disk device, or a tape device, a flash memory or other similar solid state memory device, or an array of devices, including devices in a storage area network or other configurations. In additional implementations, a computer program product is tangibly embodied in an information carrier. The computer program product contains instructions that, when executed, perform one or more methods, such as those described above. The information carrier is a computer- or machine-readable medium, such as the memory 1520, the storage device 1530, or memory on processor 1510.

[0090] The high speed controller 1540 manages bandwidth-intensive operations for the computing device 1500, while the low speed controller 1560 manages lower bandwidth-intensive operations. Such allocation of duties is exemplary only. In some implementations, the high-speed controller 1540 is coupled to the memory 1520, the display 1580 (e.g., through a graphics processor or accelerator), and to the high-speed expansion ports 1550, which may accept various expansion cards (not shown). In some implementations, the low-speed controller 1560 is coupled to the storage device 1530 and a low-speed expansion port 1590. The low-speed expansion port 1590, which may include various communication ports (e.g., USB, Bluetooth, Ethernet, wireless Ethernet), may be coupled to one or more input/output devices, such as a keyboard, a pointing device, a scanner, or a networking device such as a switch or router, e.g., through a network adapter.

[0091] The computing device 1500 may be implemented in a number of different forms, as shown in the figure. For example, it may be implemented as a standard server l500a or multiple times in a group of such servers l500a, as a laptop computer l500b, or as part of a rack server system l500c.

[0092] Various implementations of the systems and techniques described herein can be realized in digital electronic and/or optical circuitry, integrated circuitry, specially designed ASICs (application specific integrated circuits), computer hardware, firmware, software, and/or combinations thereof. These various implementations can include implementation in one or more computer programs that are executable and/or interpretable on a programmable system including at least one programmable processor, which may be special or general purpose, coupled to receive data and instructions from, and to transmit data and instructions to, a storage system, at least one input device, and at least one output device.

[0093] These computer programs (also known as programs, software, software applications or code) include machine instructions for a programmable processor, and can be implemented in a high-level procedural and/or object-oriented programming language, and/or in assembly/machine language. As used herein, the terms“machine-readable medium” and“computer-readable medium” refer to any computer program product, non- transitory computer readable medium, apparatus and/or device (e.g., magnetic discs, optical disks, memory, Programmable Logic Devices (PLDs)) used to provide machine instructions and/or data to a programmable processor, including a machine-readable medium that receives machine instructions as a machine-readable signal. The term “machine-readable signal” refers to any signal used to provide machine instructions and/or data to a programmable processor.

[0094] The processes and logic flows described in this specification can be performed by one or more programmable processors executing one or more computer programs to perform functions by operating on input data and generating output. The processes and logic flows can also be performed by special purpose logic circuitry, e.g., an FPGA (field programmable gate array) or an ASIC (application specific integrated circuit). Processors suitable for the execution of a computer program include, by way of example, both general and special purpose microprocessors, and any one or more processors of any kind of digital computer. Generally, a processor will receive instructions and data from a read only memory or a random access memory or both. The essential elements of a computer are a processor for performing instructions and one or more memory devices for storing instructions and data. Generally, a computer will also include, or be operatively coupled to receive data from or transfer data to, or both, one or more mass storage devices for storing data, e.g., magnetic, magneto optical disks, or optical disks. However, a computer need not have such devices. Computer readable media suitable for storing computer program instructions and data include all forms of non-volatile memory, media and memory devices, including by way of example semiconductor memory devices, e.g., EPROM, EEPROM, and flash memory devices; magnetic disks, e.g., internal hard disks or removable disks; magneto optical disks; and CD ROM and DVD-ROM disks. The processor and the memory can be supplemented by, or incorporated in, special purpose logic circuitry.

[0095] To provide for interaction with a user, one or more aspects of the disclosure can be implemented on a computer having a display device, e.g., a CRT (cathode ray tube), LCD (liquid crystal display) monitor, or touch screen for displaying information to the user and optionally a keyboard and a pointing device, e.g., a mouse or a trackball, by which the user can provide input to the computer. Other kinds of devices can be used to provide interaction with a user as well; for example, feedback provided to the user can be any form of sensory feedback, e.g., visual feedback, auditory feedback, or tactile feedback; and input from the user can be received in any form, including acoustic, speech, or tactile input. In addition, a computer can interact with a user by sending documents to and receiving documents from a device that is used by the user; for example, by sending web pages to a web browser on a user's client device in response to requests received from the web browser.

[0096] A number of implementations have been described. Nevertheless, it will be understood that various modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the disclosure. Accordingly, other implementations are within the scope of the following claims.




 
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