Locomotion Control of a Biped Robot Using Nonlinear Oscillators

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Recently, many experiments and analyses with biped robots have been carried out. Steady walking of a biped robot implies a stable limit cycle in the state space of the robot. In the design of a locomotion control system, there are primarily three problems associated with achieving such a stable limit cycle: the design of the motion of each limb, interlimb coordination, and posture control. In addition to these problems, when environmental conditions change or disturbances are added to the robot, there is the added problem of obtaining robust walking against them. In this paper we attempt to solve these problems and propose a locomotion control system for a biped robot to achieve robust walking by the robot using nonlinear oscillators, each of which has a stable limit cycle. The nominal trajectories of each limb's joints are designed by the phases of the oscillators, and the interlimb coordination is designed by the phase relation between the oscillators. The phases of the oscillators are reset and the nominal trajectories are modified using sensory feedbacks that depend on the posture and motion of the robot to achieve stable and robust walking. We verify the effectiveness of the proposed locomotion control system, analyzing the dynamic properties of the walking motion by numerical simulations and hardware experiments.

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