Generalizations to Locomotion


This study on Polypod locomotion enabled a general taxonomy of statically stable locomotion. This taxonomy allows us to study locomotion in general and to generate and compare new and interesting gaits.

The evaluation and generation of these gaits are detailed in my thesis, which is also a Stanford Computer Science Technical Report.


The CS Tech Report titled "Locomotion With A Unit-Modular Reconfigurable Robot" by Mark Yim has been assigned the number: STAN-CS-TR-95-1536. The Stanford electronic library has several forms of the report in one directory . They range from an OCR .txt (299K) version to a postscript .ps (18M) version. They also have GIF and TIFF (400x400x1) images of each page (157 pages) if you prefer.

Related Publications

Yim, M., "A Reconfigurable Modular Robot with Many Modes of Locomotion", Proc. of the JSME Int. Conf. on Advanced Mechatronics, pp. 283-288 Tokyo Japan 1993

Yim, M., "Locomotion Gaits with Polypod" video, Video Proc. of IEEE Int. Conf. Robotics and Automation San Diego 1994. Winner of the Best Video Award.

Yim, M., "New Locomotion Gaits" Proc. of IEEE Int. Conf. Robotics and Automation San Diego 1994.

In one invited talk on this work I was asked "What is the research contribution?" I responded that the taxonomy of locomotion was the contribution. The questionner then asked "Is that all?"

I cannot stress enough the importance of a classification system. In any new branch of science, the first thing that must be done is the classification of the instances of subjects being studied. This is the foundation upon which the whole area of study is built.

further ramblings

back to polypod
Comments may be sent to Mark Yim at

last updated November 1996, though this represents work from 1994