In recent years, we witnessed an ever increasing number of successful hardware implementations of motion planners for legged robots. If one common property is to be identified among these real-world applications, that is the ability of online planning. Online planning is forgiving, in the sense that it allows to relentlessly compensate for external disturbances of whatever form they might be, ranging from unmodeled dynamics to external pushes or unexpected obstacles and, at the same time, follow user commands. Initially replanning was restricted only to heuristic-based planners that exploit the low computational effort of simplified dynamic models. Such models deliberately only capture the main dynamics of the system, thus leaving to the controllers the issue of anchoring the desired trajectory to the whole body model of the robot. In recent years, however, we have seen a number of new approaches attempting to increase the accuracy of the dynamic formulation without trading-off the computational efficiency of simplified models. In this dissertation, as an example of successful hardware implementation of heuristics and simplified model-based locomotion, I describe the framework that I developed for the generation of an omni-directional bounding gait for the HyQ quadruped robot. By analyzing the stable limit cycles for the sagittal dynamics and the Center of Pressure (CoP) for the lateral stabilization, the described locomotion framework is able to achieve a stable bounding while adapting to terrains of mild roughness and to sudden changes of the user desired linear and angular velocities. The next topic reported and second contribution of this dissertation is my effort to formulate more descriptive simplified dynamic models, without trading off their computational efficiency, in order to extend the navigation capabilities of legged robots to complex geometry environments. With this in mind, I investigated the possibility of incorporating feasibility constraints in these template models and, in particular, I focused on the joint torques limits which are usually neglected at the planning stage. In this direction, the third contribution discussed in this thesis is the formulation of the so called actuation wrench polytope (AWP), defined as the set of feasible wrenches that an articulated robot can perform given its actuation limits. Interesected with the contact wrench cone (CWC), this yields a new 6D polytope that we name feasible wrench polytope (FWP), defined as the set of all wrenches that a legged robot can realize given its actuation capabilities and the friction constraints. Results are reported where, thanks to efficient computational geometry algorithms and to appropriate approximations, the FWP is employed for a one-step receding horizon optimization of center of mass trajectory and phase durations given a predefined step sequence on rough terrains. For the sake of reachable workspace augmentation, I then decided to trade off the generality of the FWP formulation for a suboptimal scenario in which a quasi-static motion is assumed. This led to the definition of the, so called, local/instantaneous actuation region and of the global actuation/feasible region. They both can be seen as different variants of 2D linear subspaces orthogonal to gravity where the robot is guaranteed to place its own center of mass while being able to carry its own body weight given its actuation capabilities. These areas can be intersected with the well known frictional support region, resulting in a 2D linear feasible region, thus providing an intuitive tool that enables the concurrent online optimization of actuation consistent CoM trajectories and target foothold locations on rough terrains.
|Titolo della tesi:||Actuation-Aware Simplified Dynamic Models for Robotic Legged Locomotion|
|Data di discussione:||14-feb-2019|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||Tesi di dottorato|