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Stabilization of Complementarity Systems via Contact-Aware Controllers

08/03/2020
by   Alp Aydinoglu, et al.
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We propose a framework for provably stable local control of multi-contact robotic systems, directly utilizing force measurements and exploiting the complementarity structure of contact dynamics. Since many robotic tasks, like manipulation and locomotion, are fundamentally based in making and breaking contact with the environment, state-of-the-art control policies struggle to deal with the hybrid nature of multi-contact motion. Such controllers often rely heavily upon heuristics or, due to the combinatoric structure in the dynamics, are unsuitable for real-time control. Principled deployment of tactile sensors offers a promising mechanism for stable and robust control, but modern approaches often use this data in an ad hoc manner, for instance to guide guarded moves. In this work, we present a control framework which can close the loop on tactile sensors. Critically, this framework is non-combinatoric, enabling optimization algorithms to automatically synthesize provably stable control policies. We demonstrate this approach on multiple examples, including underactuated multi-contact problems, quasi-static friction problems and a high-dimensional problem with ten contacts.

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