This paper presents a life extending minimum-time path planning algorithm for legged robots, with application for a six-legged walking robot (hexapod). The leg joint fatigue life can be extended by reducing the constraint on the dynamic radial force. The dynamic model of the hexapod is built with the Newton Euler Formula. In the normal condition, the minimum-time path planning algorithm is developed through the bisecting-plane (BP) algorithm with the constraints of maximum joint angular velocity and acceleration. According to the fatigue life model for ball bearing, its fatigue life increases while the dynamic radial force on the bearing decreases. The minimum-time path planning algorithm is thus revised by reinforcing the constraint of maximum radial force based on the expectation of life extension. A symmetric hexapod with 18 degree-of-freedom is used for simulation study. As a simplified treatment, the magnitudes of dynamic radial force on proximal joints at the pair of supporting legs are set identical to achieve similar degradation rates on each joint bearing and obtain the dynamic radial force on each joint. The simulation results validate the effectiveness of the proposed idea. This scheme can extend the operating life of robot (joint bearing fatigue life) by modifying the joint path only without affecting the primary task specifications.

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