The Inertia Coupled Rimless (ICR) wheel is a mechanically simple walking device capable of energy efficient motion. Typically, walking robots that are capable of level ground transport are extremely energy inefficient. To address this performance issue, the ICR wheel was examined while considering real-world frictional losses. The ICR wheel has been previously shown to be capable of collisionless, periodic motion, but until now, the ICR wheel had only been examined as an ideal, theoretical model. The inertia device within the system was tested to determine both the magnitude of energy loss due to damping and a suitable model for its motion.

Fitting friction models to the experimental results showed that the a visciously damped model most accurately represented the system's motion. Simulations revealed that the ICR wheel with friction would be capable of walking passively on a ramp with half stable, periodic walking, but the collisionless motion was lost.

An actuation scheme was designed in simulation to allow an ICR wheel with damping to achieve collisionless motion on level ground.

Experimental testing of a passive ICR wheel on a $3^o$ ramp showed that a cost of transport of at least 0.052 is possible with this system.

Simulations suggest that, with the inclusion of an actuation scheme, the cost of transport for the same system on level ground could be as low as 0.024.

Understanding how to overcome frictional losses lays the foundation for the creation of a walking robot capable of level ground transport with significantly less energy use than current models are capable of achieving.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Robots--Motion; Wheels--Dynamics; Friction

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Mechanical Engineering (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

Mechanical Engineering (KGCOE)


Mario W. Gomes

Advisor/Committee Member

Elizabeth DeBartolo

Advisor/Committee Member

Satish Kandlikar


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at TJ211.4 .A45 2014


RIT – Main Campus

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