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Motor control optimization of compliant one-legged locomotion in rough terrain

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2 Author(s)
Iida, F. ; Massachusetts Inst. of Technol., Cambridge ; Tedrake, R.

While underactuated robotic systems are capable of energy efficient and rapid dynamic behavior, we still do not fully understand how body dynamics can be actively used for adaptive behavior in complex unstructured environment. In particular, we can expect that the robotic systems could achieve high maneuverability by flexibly storing and releasing energy through the motor control of the physical interaction between the body and the environment. This paper presents a minimalistic optimization strategy of motor control policy for underactuated legged robotic systems. Based on a reinforcement learning algorithm, we propose an optimization scheme, with which the robot can exploit passive elasticity for hopping forward while maintaining the stability of locomotion process in the environment with a series of large changes of ground surface. We show a case study of a simple one-legged robot which consists of a servomotor and a passive elastic joint. The dynamics and learning performance of the robot model are tested in simulation, and then transferred the results to the real-world robot.

Published in:

Intelligent Robots and Systems, 2007. IROS 2007. IEEE/RSJ International Conference on

Date of Conference:

Oct. 29 2007-Nov. 2 2007