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This paper reports the applicability of our passivity-based contact force control framework for biped humanoids. We experimentally demonstrate its adaptation to unknown rough terrain. Adaptation to uneven ground is achieved by optimally distributed antigravitational forces applied to preset contact points in a feedforward manner, even without explicitly measuring the external forces or the terrain shape. Adaptation to unknown inclination is also possible by combining an active balancing controller based on the center-of-mass (CoM) measurements with respect to the inertial frame. Furthermore, we show that a simple impedance controller for supporting the feet or hands allows the robot to adapt to low-friction ground without prior knowledge of the ground friction. This presentation includes supplementary experimental videos that show a full-sized biped humanoid robot balancing on uneven ground or time-varying inclination.
Date of Publication: Feb. 2009