Thruster-assisted center manifold shaping in bipedal legged locomotion

06/06/2020
by   Arthur C. B. de Oliveira, et al.
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This work tries to contribute to the design of legged robots with capabilities boosted through thruster-assisted locomotion. Our long-term goal is the development of robots capable of negotiating unstructured environments, including land and air, by leveraging legs and thrusters collaboratively. These robots could be used in a broad number of applications including search and rescue operations, space exploration, automated package handling in residential spaces and digital agriculture, to name a few. In all of these examples, the unique capability of thruster-assisted mobility greatly broadens the locomotion designs possibilities for these systems. In an effort to demonstrate thrusters effectiveness in the robustification and efficiency of bipedal locomotion gaits, this work explores their effects on the gait limit cycles and proposes new design paradigms based on shaping these center manifolds with strong foliations. Unilateral contact force feasibility conditions are resolved in an optimal control scheme.

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