Moog and Italian Institute of Technology to Develop Robot Actuation and Control Technologies

Published: 15 Feb 2016
Moog Integrated Smart Actuator

Moog’s Integrated Smart Actuator Shown on IIT’s HyQ Quadruped Robot

Moog Inc. has signed an agreement with IIT, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (Italian Institute of Technology) for the creation of a new joint lab in Genoa, Italy – [email protected] – focusing on the development and application of next-generation actuation and control technologies for autonomous robots.

Moog and IIT will work together over the next three years to develop key enabling technologies to accelerate the adoption of autonomous robots into real-world applications.

Key research activities of the joint lab will include the development of next-generation, optimized actuation solutions as well as compact power generation and management systems for emerging robotics applications. Special attention will be given to energy-efficiency, reliability and safety. Moog’s extensive expertise in systems certification will be applied to autonomous robots. Metal additive manufacturing technologies for titanium and aluminum will be core to the newly developed actuation systems and robots. The past research collaboration between Moog and IIT has so far resulted in a family of highly-integrated smart servo-actuator for legged robots.

The main test platforms for the new technologies are IIT’s 80kg quadruped robot HyQ and its successors. Since its construction in 2010, HyQ has demonstrated a wide repertoire of motions ranging from running and jumping to carefully planned locomotion over rough terrain. The second version, HyQ2Max, will be turned into a rugged test platform that is ready for experiments outside the laboratory, for example on disaster sites, forests and construction sites. Future generations of legged robots are expected to assist human operators in dangerous and dirty applications like disaster response, remote handling of dangerous goods, as well as maintenance, inspection and load carrying tasks.

“IIT is an excellent partner to push high-performance hydraulic actuation and power systems to new levels in autonomous robot applications, ” said Dr. Gonzalo Rey, Moog Chief Technology Officer. “We have been successfully working with IIT’s Dynamic Legged Systems lab for several years and have been able to showcase how our advanced products can deliver increased system performance and simplify integration on autonomous robots. The new joint lab will enable us to marry Moog’s world-class actuation technology and know-how in reliability with IIT’s expertise in agile legged systems.”

Posted by Mike Ball Mike is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passions for teaching, advanced engineering and all things unmanned, Mike keeps a watchful eye over everything related to the unmanned technical sector. With over 10 years’ experience in the unmanned field and a degree in engineering, Mike’s been heading up our technical team here for the last 8 years.