Aracna: An open-source quadruped platform for evolutionary robotics

Author(s): 
Lohmann S
Yosinski J
Gold E
Clune J
Blum J
Lipson H
Year: 
2012
Abstract: 

We describe a new, quadruped robot platform, Aracna, which requires non-intuitive motor commands in order to locomote and thus provides an interesting challenge for gait learning algorithms, such as those frequently developed in the Evolutionary Computation and Artificial Life communities. Aracna is an open-source hardware project composed of off-the-shelf and 3D-printed parts, enabling other research teams to modify its design according to their scientific needs. Aracna was designed to overcome the shortcomings of a previous quadruped robot platform, whose legs were so heavy that the motors could not reliably execute the commands sent to them. We avoid this problem by locating all motors in the body core instead of on the legs and through a design which enables the servos to have a greater mechanical advantage. Specifically, each of the four legs has two joints controlled by separate four-bar linkage mechanisms that drive the pitch of the hip joint and knee joint. This novel design causes unconventional kinematics, creating an opportunity for gait-learning algorithms, which excel in counter-intuitive design spaces where human engineers tend to underperform. Because it is low-cost, flexible, kinematically interesting, and and improvement over a previous design, Aracna provides a useful new hardware platform for testing algorithms that automatically generate robotic behaviors.


Aracna: An Open-Source Quadruped Robotic Platform

Aracna is a new, quadruped robot platform which requires non-intuitive motor commands in order to locomote and thus provides an interesting challenge for gait learning algorithms, such as those frequently developed in the Evolutionary Computation and Artificial Life communities. Aracna is an open-source hardware project composed of off-the-shelf and 3D-printed parts, enabling other research teams to modify its design according to their scientific needs.

3D Printing the Aracna robot

This video shows the Aracna robot being 3D printed at the Cornell Creative Machines Lab. Aracna is a completely open-source robotic platform. Download the plans and print your own!

Aracna: An Open-Source Quadruped Robotic Platform

Aracna is a new, quadruped robot platform which requires non-intuitive motor commands in order to locomote and thus provides an interesting challenge for gait learning algorithms, such as those frequently developed in the Evolutionary Computation and Artificial Life communities.

3D Printing the Aracna robot

This video shows the Aracna robot being 3D printed at the Cornell Creative Machines Lab. Aracna is a completely open-source robotic platform. Download the plans and print your own!

Pub. Info: 
Proceedings of the Artificial Life Conference. 387-392
BibTeX: 

@inproceedings{lohmann2012aracna,
title={Aracna: An open-source quadruped platform for evolutionary robotics},
author={Lohmann, Sara and Yosinski, Jason and Gold, Eric and Clune, Jeff and Blum, Jeremy and Lipson, Hod},
booktitle={Artificial Life},
volume={13},
pages={387--392},
year={2012}
}