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In this article, we have shown how to design energy-based and passivity-based control laws that exploit the existence of passive walking gaits to achieve walking on different ground slopes, to increase the size of the basin of attraction and robustness properties of stable limit cycles, and to regulate walking speed. Many of the results presented in this are the compass gait are equally applicable to bipeds with knees and a torso. Practical considerations such as actuator saturation, ground reaction forces, and ground friction need to be addressed. The problem of foot rotation introduces an underactuated phase into the walking gait, which greatly challenges the application of energy shaping ideas. For walking in 3D, finding purely passive limit cycles, which is the first step in applying our energy control results, may be difficult. It was shown how ideas of geometric reduction can be used to generate 3D stable gaits given only 2D passive limit cycles.
Date of Publication: June 2007