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The primary goal of this paper is to demonstrate a means to prove asymptotically stable walking in an underactuated, planar, five-link biped robot model. The analysis assumes a rigid contact model when the swing leg impacts the ground and an instantaneous double support phase. The specific robot model analyzed corresponds to a prototype under development by the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Paris, France. A secondary goal of the paper is to establish the viability of the theoretically motivated control law. This is explored in a number of ways. First, it is shown how known time trajectories, such as those determined on the basis of walking with minimal energy consumption, can be incorporated into the proposed controller structure. Secondly, various perturbations to the walking motion are introduced to verify disturbance rejection capability. Finally, the controller is demonstrated on a detailed simulator for the prototype which includes torque limits and a compliant model of the walking surface, and thus a noninstantaneous double support phase.
Date of Publication: Aug. 2003