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Pressure Optimization of a New Hydraulic Ankle Mechanism for HYDROïD Robot

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High-pressure consumption during locomotion has been always a major drawback in using hydraulic humanoids. In the framework of the hydraulic humanoid robot HYDROïD, this paper aims to provide a methodology of energy consumption reduction for a hydraulic ankle mechanism. The design of the new integrated hybrid parallel ankle mechanism is presented. High-performance hydraulic servo vales are used for position control of the ankle joints. Besides, hydraulic integration technology is implemented on the mechanism to provide further decreases in leakage and slimmer shape. The parallel solution is chosen to provide the required ankle joints motions without affecting the compact shape of the leg. Four pistons are placed in a parallel way, where the two antagonists and agonists work together as a couple in order to emulate the muscles of the human ankle. A comprehensive study is done on the mechanism design in order to provide the least possible pressure consumption without affecting the output ankle torque. In order to verify the newly generated ankle torque, a locomotion study for the ankle mechanism is provided to ensure the locomotion capability of the new mechanism. Additionally, the new hybrid design is validated experimentally using a MATLAB/Simulink-based position controller for the ankle joints. The new experimental results have showed the validity of the design, controller, and optimized pressure consumption. The new design has been able to achieve a pressure enhancement of 30% in comparison with the old design.
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Pressure Optimization; Hydraulic Actuation; Humanoid Robot; HYDROïD Robot; Parallel Mechanism; Ankle Mechanism; Position Control

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