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research-article

Contact-Dependent Balance Stability of Biped Walking Robots

[+] Author and Article Information
Carlotta Mummolo

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, New York University, Brooklyn, New York, USA
cmummolo@nyu.edu

William Peng

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, New York University, Brooklyn, New York, USA
william.peng@nyu.edu

Carlos Gonzalez

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, New York University, Brooklyn, New York, USA
cig243@nyu.edu

Joo H. Kim

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, New York University, Brooklyn, New York, USA
joo.h.kim@nyu.edu

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4038978 History: Received September 22, 2017; Revised December 20, 2017

Abstract

A theoretical-algorithmic framework for the construction of balance stability boundaries of biped robots with multiple contacts with the environment is proposed and implemented on a robotic platform. Comprehensive and univocal definitions of the states of balance of a generic legged system are introduced with respect to the system's contact configuration. Theoretical models of joint-space and center of mass (COM)-space dynamics under multiple contacts, distribution of contact wrenches, and robotic system parameters are established for their integration into a nonlinear programming problem. In the proposed approach, the balance stability capabilities of a biped robot are quantified by a partition of the state space of COM position and velocity. The boundary of such a partition provides a threshold between balanced and falling states of the biped robot with respect to a specified contact configuration. A COM state outside of the stability boundary represents the sufficient condition for falling, from which a change in the system's contact is inevitable. Through the calculated stability boundaries, the effects of different contact configurations (single support and double support with different step lengths) on the robot's balance stability capabilities can be quantitatively evaluated. In addition, the balance characteristics of the experimental walking trajectories of the robot with various speeds are analyzed in relation to their respective stability boundaries. The proposed framework provides a contact-dependent balance stability criterion for a given system, which can be used to improve the design and control of walking robots.

Copyright (c) 2018 by ASME
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