Ben Cantrick (mackys) wrote,
Ben Cantrick

Q&A on NASA's ATHLETE robot.

Each leg has six degrees of freedom. Every leg is a complete general purpose manipulator, which is why we refer to them as limbs, not legs. There's also a tool adapter we have on every wheel called a power takeoff; it's a square key that happens to be a 1/2­in. socket drive, and it rotates with the wheel, so when you use the almost 2-hp motor in the wheel, it also turns that key, and you can clamp tools over that socket drive and actuate any kind of a power tool. Because it's on the end of this limb that has six degrees of freedom, you can maneuver that power tool any way you want. It has the exact same kinematics as the venerable PUMA Robot Arm used in industrial robotics.
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