Skip to main content

MOdular Robot Framework - MORF

The most frequently means to achieve mobility in robots is wheels, as their simplicity and low power consumption are appealing. However, wheeled robots are predominantly limited to flat surfaces with few obstacles and in need of additional mechanisms if manipulateon tasks are to be performed. This means the world often must change to fit the robot and not the other way around.

An alternative solution is legs. A legged robot needs legs with at least two degrees of freedom to move - one for lifting and one for swinging - but it is usually equipped with legs that have three degrees of freedom to allow additional manoeuvring. This increases power consumption and requires a more complex controller due to the complex body structure [1]. So why use legged robots at all? Legged robots are, first of all, able to interact with generic physical environments that are either designed for legged locomotion (humans) or rough terrain found in Nature [1].

Current solutions to adaptive locomotion for legged robots are promising, but often look miserable and are far from able to compete with the behaviors of real animals. This is presumably because the benefits of using legs most often are overshadowed by their high design complexity.

We, therefore, developed MORF, a MOdular Robot Framework which can be used in a wide range of studies. The primary aim of MORF is for it to be easy and convenient to use, such that researchers can focus more on the actual controller of the robot and not the hardware. Its design makes use of bio-inspired kinematics and state-of-the-art components to achieve high performance. This enables some of the complexity to be moved from the controller to the mechanics of the system.

MORF is modular as it defines standards that can be used for re-configuring, extending, and/or replacing parts of the robot, e.g. body shape. MORF can, for example, be configured either as an insect or a mammal. MORF furthermore includes a software suite with a full simulation of the robot.


[1] Todd, D. J. (1985). Walking Machines (Springer US). doi: 10.1007/978-1-4684-6858-8_2
Kajita, S. and Espiau, B. (2008). Legged robots. In Springer Handbook of Robotics. 361–389. doi: 10.1007/978-3-540-30301-5_17

Last Updated 29.03.2023