This paper presents an investigation of the performance of digital hydraulic actuation in robot applications. The research compares two different hydraulic actuation systems, utilizing servo and digital hydraulic valves, developed to drive one leg of a hydraulic quadruped robot (HyQ). Comparisons between the two systems for position tracking, required flow rate and system efficiency are discussed. Results show that digital hydraulic systems can be a valid alternative to servo valves in terms of position tracking, and show that digital valves can greatly improve system performance in the form of reduced required flow rate and improved overall system efficiency.

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