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Published February 2009 | Published
Book Section - Chapter Open

Development of a biomimetic robotic bear: Or is a bare bear bearable?


This paper presents the issues encountered in the development of a robot based on the biometric influence of a bear. One of the main aims of this research was to explore the possibilities of a robot, which could move between the different styles of motion. The bear offers a unique example of an animal with high mass and bulk, which can move between being a quadruped and a biped. Our earlier research had explored the development of a robotic dog. A quadruped robot design, suitable for use as a player in the RoboCup Four Legged League, which used the parameters of the existing Sony Aibo robot as a starting point. The outcomes of this research have been discussed in papers by Chalup and Lawrence. The current research has extended the previous platform development and reset the objective to a robot with both bipedal and quadrupedal motion possibilities. The original objectives of developing a high quality design with enhanced research programming possibilities, which also coveys a positive and engaging image of Science and Engineering through its form, were maintained. This is specially so, when considering the robot's ability to create interest in the general public, who will view the robot from a perspective outside of discipline specific interests. The introduction presents the biological inspiration for the current design, including the preparation and material production considerations. This is followed by a discussion of specific features of the robotic bear design, which has been given the name HyKim, followed by a conclusion.

Additional Information

© 2009 IEEE. The authors would like to express their sincere thanks to Daniel Sneddon and Sam Weise for their help in the development of the prototypes. Thanks are also due to all the technicians in the different departments within the University of Newcastle, without their assistance the realization of the robotic bear would not have been possible.

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