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On the Improvement of Walking Performance in Natural Environments by a Compliant Adaptive Gait

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2 Author(s)
Garcia, E. ; Ind. Autom. Inst.-CSIC, Madrid ; de Santos, P.G.

It is a widespread idea that animal-legged locomotion is better than wheeled locomotion on natural rough terrain. However, the use of legs as a locomotion system for vehicles and robots still has a long way to go before it can compete with wheels and trucks, even on natural ground. This paper aims to solve two main disadvantages plaguing walking robots: their inability to react to external disturbances (which is also a drawback of wheeled robots); and their extreme slowness. Both problems are reduced here by combining: 1) a gait-parameter-adaptation method that maximizes a dynamic energy stability margin and 2) an active-compliance controller with a new term that compensates for stability variations, thus helping the robot react stably in the face of disturbances. As a result, the combined gait-adaptation approach helps the robot achieve faster, more stable compliant motions than conventional controllers. Experiments performed with the SILO4 quadruped robot show a relevant improvement in the walking gait

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Robotics, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:22 ,  Issue: 6 )