Designing the spinal column of a quadruped robot by using additive manufacturing: A comprehensive approach

  • 1 Polytechnic University of Tirana, Albania
  • 2 Institut Pprime, UPR CNRS 3346, Université de Poitiers


In this study, we aim to realize a methodology for designing the spinal column of a quadruped robot employing additive manufacturing techniques. Additive manufacturing processes have gained widespread usage owing to their ability to swiftly develop prototypes for research and actualize production-grade components. Our research commenced with the acquisition of vertebral dimensions sourced from real animals such as cheetahs. These dimensions were pivotal inputs for conducting kinematic analyses of the animal’s locomotion cycle.
Through meticulous kinematic analysis, it was delineated the various positions assumed by the spinal column throughout the locomotion cycle. Furthermore, we assessed the maximal force to which the spinal column could be subjected. This evaluation formed a robust foundation for exploring diverse modeling approaches to identify the optimal solutions. An innovative solution emerged through the utilization of a beam featuring a variable cross-section. This approach facilitated precise customization of the design to align with our specific requirements. To manufacture all requisite components for the spinal column, we employed a single 3D printer utilizing the Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) technique with PLA material. To validate the computational methods, it was developed a sophisticated test bench. By juxtaposing theoretical predictions against tangible experimental data, it was affirmed the accuracy of the theoretical approach. This validation serves as a springboard for subsequent phases in the design and production processes of quadruped robots.



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