Iguana Robotics is seeking to understand and apply lessons from biomechanics and neuroscience to the construction of efficient, adaptive, and intelligent robotic systems. A current focus is on the construction and control of robots with biarticular actuators, or actuators that act on more than one joint at a time. These biarticular actuators form a dynamic power transmission system within a limb of a robot. Biarticular actuators show great promise for lowering the energetic cost of transport in legged robots. This is a key goal that must be achieved if walking robots are to become practical.
Biarticular Muscles and Robots
Biarticular muscles are muscles that span more than one joint. The human body uses many such muscles, the most well known is the gastrocnemius--- the principle muscle of the calf.
Biarticular muscles seem important for power transfer within the limb... making the limb an intelligent "adaptive transmission system," delivering power where needed in the leg. Biarticular muscles are important for coordination and we suspect for energy efficiency.