Date of Thesis



The Bucknell Humanoid Robot Arm project was developed in order toprovide a lightweight robotic arm for the IHMC / Bucknell University bipedal robot that will provide a means of manipulation and facilitate operations in urban environments. The resulting fabricated arm described in this thesis weighs only 13 pounds, and is capable of holding 11 pounds fully outstretched, lifting objects such as tools, and it can open doors. It is also capable of being easily integrated with the IHMC / Bucknell University biped. This thesis provides an introduction to robots themselves, discusses the goals of the Bucknell Humanoid Robot Arm project, provides a background on some of the existing robots, and shows how the Bucknell Humanoid Robot Arm fits in with the studies that have been completed. After reading these studies, important items such as design trees and operational scenarios were completed. The completion of these items led to measurable specifications and later the design requirements and specifications. A significant contribution of this thesis to the robotics discipline involves the design of the actuator itself. The arm uses of individual, lightweight, compactly designed actuators to achieve desired capabilities and performance requirements. Many iterations were completed to get to the final design of each actuator. After completing the actuators, the design of the intermediate links and brackets was finalized. Completion of the design led to the development of a complex controls system which used a combination of Clanguage and Java.


Robotics, Robots, Humanoid Robot, Robotic Arm, Urban Robotics, Urban Robot

Access Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Type

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Steven B. Shooter