Research

salam and good evening.

as a final year college student, “kenkyuu” (direct translation being “research”) or better known among students as FYP, is a requirement for graduation. usually kenkyuu takes the majority of credit hours for the final year, mine being 11 (compared to other subjects being one or two). Oyama NCT has three presentations as part of their research, a term they call “kenkyuu happyou”. the first one is to give an overview of the upcoming kenkyuu i.e. theme, methodology etc. which, coincidentally, was carried out earlier today. therefore, as a person who likes to share knowledge w/ others, ladies and gentleman i present to you, my first kenkyu happyou :)

WARNING: HIGHLY EDUCATIONAL CONTENT

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good evening ladies and gentleman. my name is Ahmad Hilmi, and i am a member of the Kikuchi Lab. today i would like to present my research topic entitled “Development of Grasshopper-like Jumping Mechanism”.

we live in a world where robots are no longer strangers to us. robots such as the commercial Aibo and Asimo, utilises the movement of walking as a way to get about. however, walking robots consume a significant amount of energy without much distance covered. to overcome this, i have decided to opt on jumping as a method of locomotion, which covers a much more larger distance while at the same time consuming energy in an orderly manner. taking the inspiration from grasshoppers, my research can be divided into two parts, one being the understanding of the grasshopper’s jumping mechanism, and the other is taking that mechanism and replicating it in the form of a contraption (in this case, a robot).

first, lets take a look at how a grasshopper jump:

as you can see from the video that the mechanism starts off when the hind legs contract, in which each of the segment gradually overlap each other, followed by a slight pause before the jump is finally executed. the key point here, is the pause.

generally, muscles can only produce either speed or power, but not both at the same time. to overcome this, grasshoppers have developed a catapult in which to store the high energy temporarily, much in a way as to how we store energy momentarily in the bow during a game of archery.

let’s take a look at this next picture:

the hind legs of the grasshopper consists of three main components, the blue and red lines being the main muscles and the short yellow line represents the catapult. as the blue muscle contract, it winds down the hind leg until they are folded, to which the red muscle then contract, winding the leg a bit further and at the same time compressing the catapult, to which the blue muscle relax and the stored energy in the catapult is finally released in the form of a jump. the process of storing the energy of the red muscle into the catapult occurs during the slight pause mentioned earlier.

from this understanding of the grasshopper’s jumping mechanism, i would like to carry out a research mainly to similarly replicate this system into making a grasshopper-like jumping robot.

here is my rough sketch on how to replicate the said mechanism, in this case the catapult is substituted with the blue torsion spring. as this is a work in progress, the design may of course significantly improve over the course of my research.

that is all for now, thank you.

ws.

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