Dynamic Locomotion For Passive-Ankle Biped Robots And Humanoids Using Whole-Body Locomotion Control

by   D. Kim, et al.

Whole-body control (WBC) is a generic task-oriented control method for feedback control of loco-manipulation behaviors in humanoid robots. The combination of WBC and model-based walking controllers has been widely utilized in various humanoid robots. However, to date, the WBC method has not been employed for unsupported passive-ankle dynamic locomotion. As such, in this paper, we devise a new WBC, dubbed whole-body locomotion controller (WBLC), that can achieve experimental dynamic walking on unsupported passive-ankle biped robots. A key aspect of WBLC is the relaxation of contact constraints such that the control commands produce reduced jerk when switching foot contacts. To achieve robust dynamic locomotion, we conduct an in-depth analysis of uncertainty for our dynamic walking algorithm called time-to-velocity-reversal (TVR) planner. The uncertainty study is fundamental as it allows us to improve the control algorithms and mechanical structure of our robot to fulfill the tolerated uncertainty. In addition, we conduct extensive experimentation for: 1) unsupported dynamic balancing (i.e. in-place stepping) with a six degree-of-freedom (DoF) biped, Mercury; 2) unsupported directional walking with Mercury; 3) walking over an irregular and slippery terrain with Mercury; and 4) in-place walking with our newly designed ten-DoF viscoelastic liquid-cooled biped, DRACO. Overall, the main contributions of this work are on: a) achieving various modalities of unsupported dynamic locomotion of passive-ankle bipeds using a WBLC controller and a TVR planner, b) conducting an uncertainty analysis to improve the mechanical structure and the controllers of Mercury, and c) devising a whole-body control strategy that reduces movement jerk during walking.


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