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This paper presents a new methodology for the analysis and control of internal forces and center-of-mass (CoM) behavior, which are produced during multicontact interactions between humanoid robots and the environment. The approach leverages the virtual-linkage model that provides a physical representation of the internal and CoM resultant forces with respect to reaction forces on the supporting surfaces. A grasp/contact matrix describing the complex interactions between contact forces and CoM behavior is developed. Based on this model, a new torque-based approach for the control of internal forces is suggested and illustrated on the Asimo humanoid robot. The new controller is integrated into the framework for whole-body-prioritized multitasking, thus enabling the unified control of CoM maneuvers, operational tasks, and internal-force behavior. The grasp/contact matrix is also proposed to analyze and plan internal force and CoM control policies that comply with frictional properties of the links in contact.
Date of Publication: June 2010