Actuation Aware Simplified Dynamic Models

Feasible Region: an Actuation-Aware Extension of the Support Region

In legged locomotion the support region is defined as the 2D horizontal convex area where the robot is able to support its own body weight in static conditions. Despite this definition, when the joint-torque limits (actuation limits) are hit, the robot can be unable to carry its own body weight, even when the projection of its Center of Mass (CoM) lies inside the support region. In this manuscript we overcome this inconsistency by defining the Feasible Region, a revisited support region that guarantees both global static stability of the robot and the existence of a set of joint torques that are able to sustain the body weight. Thanks to the usage of an Iterative Projection (IP) algorithm, we show that the Feasible Region can be efficiently employed for online motion planning of loco-manipulation tasks for both humanoids and quadrupeds. Unlike the classical support region, the Feasible Region represents a local measure of the robots robustness to external disturbances and it must be recomputed at every configuration change. For this, we also propose a global extension of the Feasible Region that is configuration independent and only needs to be recomputed at every stance change.

Publication: Romeo Orsolino, Michele Focchi, Stéphane Caron, Gennaro Raiola, Victor Barasuol and Claudio Semini, Feasible Region: an Actuation-Aware Extension of the Support Region, ArXiv, 2019 - View at publisher

Contacts: Romeo Orsolino and Michele Focchi

Application of Wrench based Feasibility Analysis to the Online Trajectory Optimization of Legged Robots

Motion planning in multi-contact scenarios has recently gathered interest within the legged robotics community, however actuator force/torque limits are rarely considered. We believe that these limits gain paramount importance when the complexity of the terrains to be traversed increases. We build on previous research from the field of robotic grasping to propose two new six-dimensional bounded polytopes named the Actuation Wrench Polytope (AWP) and the Feasible Wrench Polytope (FWP). We define the AWP as the set of all the wrenches that a robot can generate while considering its actuation limits. This considers the admissible contact forces that the robot can generate given its current configuration and actuation capabilities. The Contact Wrench Cone (CWC), instead, includes features of the environment such as the contact normal or the friction coefficient. The intersection of the AWP and of the CWC results in a convex polytope, the FWP, which turns out to be more descriptive of the real robot capabilities than existing simplified models, while maintaining the same compact representation. We explain how to efficiently compute the vertex-description of the FWP that is then used to evaluate a feasibility factor that we adapted from the field of robotic grasping. This allows us to optimize for robustness to external disturbance wrenches. Based on this, we present an implementation of a motion planner for our quadruped robot HyQ that provides online Center of Mass (CoM) trajectories that are guaranteed to be statically stable and actuation consistent.

Publication: Romeo Orsolino, Michele Focchi, Carlos Mastalli, Hongkai Dai, Darwin G. Caldwell and Claudio Semini , Application of Wrench based Feasibility Analysis to the Online Trajectory Optimization of Legged Robots, Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L), 2018 - View at publisher

Contacts: Romeo Orsolino and Michele Focchi