Hip torque and radial forcing along the leg are two common actuation methods for legged robots. However, hip torque and radial forcing have not been compared as potential alternative strategies of actuation. The respective advantages and disadvantages of hip torque and radial forcing are not well known. In this paper, we compare hip torque and radial forcing actuation through the simulation of two models: a Rotary-forced Spring-Loaded Inverted Pendulum and a Radially Forced Spring-Loaded Inverted Pendulum. Both actuation methods can produce fully asymptotically stable locomotion. Interestingly, it is found that they improve locomotion stability in different ways: hip torque first destabilizes locomotion when initially introduced but greatly stabilizes locomotion when it keeps increasing; radial forcing always stabilizes locomotion, but in a moderate way.

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