The inertia-coupled rimless wheel model is a passive dynamic walking device which is theoretically capable of achieving highly efficient motion with no energy losses. Under non-ideal circumstances, energy losses due to air drag require the use of actuation to maintain stable motions. The Actuated Inertia-coupled Rimless Wheel Across Flat Terrain (AIRWAFT) model provides actuation to an inertia-coupled rimless wheel model across level ground to compensate for energy losses by applying hip-torque between the frame and inertia wheel via a motor. Two methods of defining the open-loop actuation are presented. Position control defines the relative position of the drum relative to the frame. Torque control specifies the amount of torque between the frame and the drum. The performance of the model was evaluated with respect to changes in various geometrical and control parameters and initial conditions. This parameter study led to the discovery of a stable, periodic motion with a cost of transport of 0.33.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Wheels--Dynamics; Robots--Motion; Robots--Energy consumption

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Mechanical Engineering (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

Mechanical Engineering (KGCOE)


Mario Gomes

Advisor/Committee Member

Kathleen Lamkin-Kenard


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at TJ211.4 .W44 2016


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes