It has been shown by others that it is theoretically possible for a walking robot to achieve a perfectly efficient gait. The simplest model capable of highly efficient walking motions is the Inertial Coupled Rimless (ICR) Wheel. To examine the dynamics of the ICR wheel, two related studies were done.

To determine the lowest energy cost for the ICR wheel we examined one mechanism of energy loss, non-elastic deformation of the elastic elements. Quasi-static experimental tension tests determined that the minimal energy loss for our system was 8:4x10�4 Joules per cycle. A more realistic, high frequency test, showed that the energy loss increased by a factor of 9.16.

The ICR wheel walks down a ramp which is assumed to be very at. But no surface in reality can be perfectly at. For a more realistic study, rough terrain is introduced to the ramp. To better understand the dynamics of the motion of the ICR wheel, a simple rimless (SR) wheel is examined on a ramp with roughness. The roughness of the ground is randomly generated but bounded in magnitude. The minimum angle of inclination required for a rimless wheel to walk down both smooth and rough ramps is determined. For the rimless wheel we examined with 5 legs, the minimum slope required for a rough surface is 12.4% higher than that required for a smooth surface, and for 10 legs, the minimum slope for a rough surface is 40.83% higher than the smooth surface.

This work has formed the foundation for the design of an energy efficient walking robot and has given insight into its behavior over rough terrain.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Wheels--Dynamics; Robots--Motion

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Mechanical Engineering (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

Mechanical Engineering (KGCOE)


Mario W. Gomes

Advisor/Committee Member

Agamemnon Crassidis

Advisor/Committee Member

Kathleen Lamkin-Kennard


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at TJ211.4 .V37 2014


RIT – Main Campus

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