PhD Defence Geert Folkertsma

Energy-based and biomimetic robotics

All physical systems interact by exchanging power, or energy. This energy can be explicitly taken into account when designing robotic systems, in dynamic models of systems and controllers, leading to more insight in energy-related effects. In this thesis, a biomimetic cheetah robot is developed, by first identifying core dynamic (energy-based) principles of the real cheetah and then translating them into a mechanical design. Theoretical aspects required for this analysis and design are amongst others synchronisation of limit cycles, energy-efficiency of hopping robots, passivity and energy-aware controllers, morphological computation. Finally, we introduce a biomimetic robotic bird on which we aim to apply the methods and tools used and developed for the cheetah.