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Line Walking and Balancing for Legged Robots with Point Feet

by   Carlos Gonzalez, et al.
KU Leuven

The ability of legged systems to traverse highly-constrained environments depends by and large on the performance of their motion and balance controllers. This paper presents a controller that excels in a scenario that most state-of-the-art balance controllers have not yet addressed: line walking, or walking on nearly null support regions. Our approach uses a low-dimensional virtual model (2-DoF) to generate balancing actions through a previously derived four-term balance controller and transforms them to the robot through a derived kinematic mapping. The capabilities of this controller are tested in simulation, where we show the 90kg quadruped robot HyQ crossing a bridge of only 6 cm width (compared to its 4 cm diameter foot sphere), by balancing on two feet at any time while moving along a line. Additional simulations are carried to test the performance of the controller and the effect of external disturbances. The same controller is then used on the real robot to present for the first time a legged robot balancing on a contact line of nearly null support area.


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