Musculoskeletal lower-limb robot driven by multifilament muscles

Shunichi Kurumaya, Koichi Suzumori, Hiroyuki Nabae, Shuichi Wakimoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

92 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a redundant musculoskeletal robot using thin McKibben muscles that is based on human anatomy. The purpose of this robot is to achieve motions and characteristics that are very similar to a human body. We use a thin McKibben muscle, which is compliant and flexible, as the actuator of a musculoskeletal robot. Using a bundle of thin McKibben muscles, we develop a multifilament muscle that has characteristics similar to those of human muscles. In contrast, the actuators of conventional musculoskeletal robots are very heavy, not densely attached and have poor backdrivability. Because multifilament muscles are light and can be densely attached, we can attach them to the musculoskeletal robot as skeletal muscle and achieve a redundant system that is equivalent to a human drive mechanism. In this paper, we report a method for fabricating multifilament muscles that imitate various muscles, the development of a lower-limb muscle mechanism for the redundant musculoskeletal robot with thin McKibben muscles and experimental results showing that the proposed musculoskeletal robot achieves humanlike motions that have not yet been reported for other robots.

Original languageEnglish
Article number18
JournalROBOMECH Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2016


  • Biomimetics
  • McKibben muscle
  • Musculoskeletal robot
  • Pneumatic actuator

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Instrumentation
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Control and Optimization
  • Artificial Intelligence


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