Optimally Scaled Hip-Force Planning: A Control Approach for Quadrupedal Running

TitleOptimally Scaled Hip-Force Planning: A Control Approach for Quadrupedal Running
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsValenzuela, A., and S. Kim
Conference NameRobotics and Automation (ICRA), 2012 IEEE International Conference on
Date Published05/2012
Conference LocationSaint Paul, MN
ISBN Number978-1-4673-1403-9
Accession Number12847392

This paper presents Optimally Scaled Hip-Force Planning (OSHP), a novel approach to controlling the body dynamics of running robots. Controllers based on OSHP form the high-level component of a hierarchical control scheme in which they direct lower level controllers, each responsible for coordinating the motion of a single leg. An OSHP controller takes in the state of the runner at the apex of its primary aerial phase and returns desired profiles for the vertical and horizontal forces to be exerted at each hip during the subsequent stride. The hip force profiles returned by OSHP are scaled variants of nominal force profiles based on biological ground reaction force data. The OSHP controller determines the scaling parameters for these profiles through constrained nonlinear optimization on an approximate model of the runner's body dynamics. Evaluation of an OSHP controller for a quadruped model in simulation shows that even with very simple leg controllers, the OSHP controller can accelerate the runner from rest to steady-state running without a pre-defined footfall sequence.