The Ascento project is an invention by the Focus Project team composed of 8 Mechanical Engineering students and 1 Electrical Engineering student at ETH Zurich. It is initially a small agile jumping robot designed to transverse all-terrain environments. It has a combination of springs and high torque motors that enables it to move quickly on flat terrain and can balance and jump over obstacles.
The Ascento 2 is an improved model of its predecessor and is an LQR-assisted wheeled Bipedal robot with kinematic loops. A jump controller and fall recovery controller is installed in a model-based algorithm. It has the ability to counteract external disturbances, such as recover from a fall, and adjust its height as demonstrated in the video. It can overcome stairs, and escalators by jumping and can enter different resting positions. It can even ride a skateboard with one leg with ease. The improvements in the design can be seen in comparison with the former model.
All the parts are 3D printed out of PLA12 nylon to make the robot more lightweight. Overall efficiency and high jumping height are achieved by torsional springs that are designed to counteract the robot’s own weight. It has custom wheel motors for smooth driving for balancing the robot’s tilt angle. A camera is installed at the robot’s head that acts as the sensor to map out its surroundings.