Latest Papers

ASME Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics

  • Robust Multilegged Walking Robots for Interactions With Different Terrains
    on May 26, 2023 at 12:00 am

    AbstractThis paper explores the kinematic synthesis, design, and pilot experimental testing of a six-legged walking robotic platform able to traverse through different terrains. We aim to develop a structured approach to designing the limb morphology using a relaxed kinematic task with incorporated conditions on foot-environments interaction, specifically contact force direction and curvature constraints, related to maintaining contact. The design approach builds up incrementally starting with studying the basic human leg walking trajectory and then defining a “relaxed” kinematic task. The “relaxed” kinematic task consists only of two contact locations (toe-off and heel-strike) with higher-order motion task specifications compatible with foot-terrain(s) contact and curvature constraints in the vicinity of the two contacts. As the next step, an eight-bar leg image is created based on the “relaxed” kinematic task and incorporated within a six-legged walking robot. Pilot experimental tests explore if the proposed approach results in an adaptable behavior which allows the platform to incorporate different walking foot trajectories and gait styles coupled to each environment. The results suggest that the proposed “relaxed” higher-order motion task combined with the leg morphological properties and feet material allowed the platform to walk stably on the different terrains. Here we would like to note that one of the main advantages of the proposed method in comparison with other existing walking platforms is that the proposed robotic platform has carefully designed limb morphology with incorporated conditions on foot-environment interaction. Additionally, while most of the existing multilegged platforms incorporate one actuator per leg, or per joint, our goal is to explore the possibility of using a single actuator to drive all six legs of the platform. This is a critical step which opens the door for the development of future transformative technology that is largely independent of human control and able to learn about the environment through their own sensory systems.

Stability Region-Based Analysis of Walking and Push Recovery Control


To achieve walking and push recovery successfully, a biped robot must be able to determine if it can maintain its current contact configuration or transition into another one without falling. In this study, the ability of a humanoid robot to maintain single support (SS) or double support (DS) contact and to achieve a step are represented by balanced and steppable regions, respectively, as proposed partitions of an augmented center-of-mass-state space. These regions are constructed with an optimization method that incorporates full-order system dynamics, system properties such as kinematic and actuation limits, and contact interactions with the environment in the two-dimensional sagittal plane. The SS balanced, DS balanced, and steppable regions are obtained for both experimental and simulated walking trajectories of the robot with and without the swing foot velocity constraint to evaluate the contribution of the swing leg momentum. A comparative analysis against one-step capturability, the ability of a biped to come to a stop after one step, demonstrates that the computed steppable region significantly exceeds the one-step capturability of an equivalent reduced-order model. The use of balanced regions to characterize the full balance capability criteria of the system and benchmark controllers is demonstrated with three push recovery controllers. The implemented hip–knee–ankle controller resulted in improved stabilization with respect to decreased foot tipping and time required to balance, relative to an existing hip–ankle controller and a gyro balance feedback controller.
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