TechTalks from event: Technical session talks from ICRA 2012

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Hybrid Legged Robots

  • Passive Dynamic Walking of Viscoelastic-Legged Rimless Wheel Authors: Asano, Fumihiko; Kawamoto, Junji
    imit cycle walking including passive-dynamic walkers is mathematically modeled as a nonlinear hybrid dynamical system with state jumps in general. The generated motion is natural and energy efficient, but it is still pointed out that there are many differences between limit cycle walking and human walking. Non-existence of the period of double-limb support in the former comes from the assumption of instantaneous inelastic collision and is one of the biggest differences from the latter. In human walking, the period of double-limb support accounts for more than 10% of one cycle, and this must have significant effects on the gait stability and efficiency. Also in robot walking, utilizing the effects of double-limb support is essential to achieve more flexible, adaptive and human-like behavior. This paper then develops a novel mathematical model of a passive rimless wheel that emerges double-limb support by using the leg viscoelasticity, and numerically investigates the fundamental properties.
  • Control of Dynamic Locomotion for the Hybrid Wheel-Legged Mobile Robot by using Unstable-Zeros Cancellation Authors: Suzumura, Akihiro; Fujimoto, Yasutaka
    In this paper, a new method of center of mass trajectory planning using the zero-phase low pass filter is proposed. This method is based on a table-cart model which simply describes the relationship between center of mass and zero moment point. Generally, zero moment point should be controlled to realize dynamic motion. This method can easily generate the center of mass trajectory which realizes the desired zero moment point. In our study, this method is applied to wheel-legged locomotion. We will show the result that zero moment point can be sufficiently controlled even if quadruped wheel-legged mobile robot is apploximated to a table-cart model. The effectiveness of the idea is validated by simulation and experiment.
  • Comparison of Cost Functions for Electrically Driven Running Robots Authors: Remy, C. David; Buffinton, Keith; Siegwart, Roland
    In this work we apply optimal control to create running gaits for the model of an electrically driven one legged hopper, and compare the results obtained for five different objective functions. By using high compliant series elastic actuators, the motions of joint and motor are decoupled, which allows the exploitation of natural dynamics. Depending on the cost function, this exploitation varies. Energy is injected at different points of time, the amplitude of actuator action changes significantly, and the optimal gear ratios differ by a factor of two. Variations are, however, comparable over a wide range of hopping heights and running velocities. Purely force-based cost functions prove to be ill-suited for such non-conservative systems, and it is shown that thermal electrical losses, in contrast to common belief, do not dominate energy expenditure. The numerical results are corroborated by detailed analytical considerations which give general insights into optimal excitation with electric actuators.
  • A Reduced-Order Dynamical Model for Running with Curved Legs Authors: Jun, Jae Yun; Clark, Jonathan
    Some of the unique properties associated with running with curved legs or feet (as opposed to point-contact feet) are examined in this work, including the rolling contact motion, the change of the leg's effective stiffness and rest length, the shift of the effective flexion point along the leg, and the compliant-vaulting motions over its tiptoe during stance. To examine these factors, a novel torque-driven reduced-order dynamical model with a clock-based control scheme and with a simple motor model is developed (named as torque-driven and damped half-circle-leg model (TD-HCL)). The controller parameters are optimized for running efficiency and forward speed using a direct search method, and the results are compared to those of other existing dynamical models such as the torque-driven and damped spring-loaded-inverted-pendulum (TD-SLIP) model, the torque-driven and damped two-segment-leg (TD-TSL) model, and the TD-SLIP with a rolling foot (TD-SLIP-RF) model. The results show that running with rolling is more efficient and more stable than running with legs that involve pin joint contact model. This work begins to explain why autonomous robots using curved legs run efficiently and robustly. New curved legs are designed and manufactured in order to validate these results.
  • FastRunner: A Fast, Efficient and Robust Bipedal Robot. Concept and Planar Simulation Authors: Cotton, Sebastien; OLARU, IONUT MIHAI CONSTANTIN; bellman, matthew; van der ven, tim; Godowski, Johnny C; Pratt, Jerry
    Bipedal robots are currently either slow, energetically inefficient and/or require a lot of control to maintain their stability. This paper introduces the FastRunner, a bipedal robot based on a new leg architecture. Simulation results of a Planar FastRunner demonstrate that legged robots can run fast, be energy efficient and inherently stable. The simulated FastRunner has a cost of transport of 1.4 and requires only a local feedback of the hip position to reach 35.4 kph from stop in simulation.
  • Zero-Moment Point Based Balance Control of Leg-Wheel Hybrid Structures with Inequality Constraints of Dynamic Behavior Authors: An, Sang-ik; Oh, Yonghwan; Kwon, Dong-Soo
    This paper discusses an unified method of the tracking and balancing controls for leg-wheel hybrid structures in an effort to improve the mobility over hard, flat surfaces. Preliminarily, we analyzed the contact constraint to formulate a dynamically decoupled model in the task space. Then, inequality constraints were determined to restrict the dynamic behavior of the system within the given bounds for the dynamic stability and the actuator saturation. The inequality constraints were applied to the reference control input that was designed for the mechanism to traverse the desired trajectories without the constraints. To find the constrained control input, a quadratic objective function was proposed to minimize the modification error of the control inputs. We tested the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm by comparing simulation results with our previous research.