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Self-stabilizing somersaults

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4 Author(s)
Mombaur, K.D. ; Interdisciplinary Center for Sci. Comput., Univ. of Heidelberg, Germany ; Bock, H.G. ; Schloder, J.P. ; Longman, R.W.

We investigate the open-loop stability of a planar biped robot performing a periodic motion of forward somersaults with alternating single-leg contacts. The robot has a trunk and two actuated telescopic legs with point feet which are coupled to the trunk by actuated hinges. There is compliance and damping in the hip and in the legs. The concept of open-loop control implies that all actuators of the system receive predetermined inputs that are never altered by any feedback interference. Only with the right choice of model parameters and actuator inputs is it possible to create such self-stabilizing motions exploiting the natural stability properties of the system. These unknowns have been determined using special-purpose stability-optimization methods. The resulting motion is not only stable, but also a more efficient form of forward motion than running for the investigated robot.

Published in:

Robotics, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:21 ,  Issue: 6 )