Research into hydraulic quadrupeds at the US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) has created the demand for in-house development of miniaturized hydraulic components, including pumps. As part of this effort to develop a miniaturized hydraulic powertrain, external gear pumps were examined, designed, and iterated upon to create an efficient pump package with a small form factor (1.5 × 1.6 × 1.8 inches). The evolution of the pump design has touched every component of the pump and has resulted in many practical design guidelines, novel pump components, and improved pump analysis tools. The original goal of developing the capability for integrated hydraulic powertrain components, such as embedding the pump into the quadruped’s hydraulic manifold, was to enable further compaction and streamlined system development. An additional result of the project was the accumulation of gear pump design fundamentals and lessons learned that can benefit any pump designer.

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