K2T, Inc. Walking Robot

 

 The K2T (K squared T) mine removal robot was designed in Pittsburgh by K2T, Inc. under funding from the Office of Naval Research. The goal of the project was to produce an adept walking robot that can be used in large numbers to clear mine fields and shallow underwater mines. The robot must have robust control and mechanical design such that it can operate autonomously in unknown environments.The Bio-Robotics lab at CWRU worked with K2T to design the navigation controller for the robot. Gabriel Nelson created an accurate dynamical simulation of the robot including 17 degrees of freedom, joint locking and clutching, terrain modeling, and a graphical output shown below. Also shown is a rendered version of the design.

 
The controller uses biological concepts from our Robot II that have been adapted to the unique design and kinematics of the K2T robot. The robot uses a reduced actuator set (5 motors for 17 degrees of freedom) which allows for large energy savings that are necessary for long term autonomous use. Our controller also makes uses of several energy saving strategies such as efficient joint locking and momentum transfer.The K2T robot was a finalist for Discover Magazine’s 9th Annual Technology Awards. There was an article on the robot in the Special Epcot Edition published in July 1998.