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Multi-contact planning and control for humanoid robots: Design and validation of a complete framework (01a Articolo in rivista)

Ferrari Paolo, Rossini Luca, Ruscelli Francesco, Laurenzi Arturo, Oriolo Giuseppe, Tsagarakis Nikos G., Mingo Hoffman Enrico

In this paper, we consider the problem of generating appropriate motions for a torque- controlled humanoid robot that is assigned a multi-contact loco-manipulation task, i.e., a task that requires the robot to move within the environment by repeatedly establishing and breaking multiple, non-coplanar contacts. To this end, we present a complete multi-contact planning and control framework for multi-limbed robotic systems, such as humanoids. The planning layer works offline and consists of two sequential modules: first, a stance planner computes a sequence of feasible contact combinations; then, a whole-body planner finds the sequence of collision-free humanoid motions that realize them while respecting the physical limitations of the robot. For the challenging problem posed by the first stage, we propose a novel randomized approach that does not require the specification of pre-designed potential contacts or any kind of pre-computation. The control layer produces online torque commands that enable the humanoid to execute the planned motions while guaranteeing closed-loop balance. It relies on two modules, i.e., the stance switching and reactive balancing module; their combined action allows it to withstand possible execution inaccuracies, external disturbances, and modeling uncertainties. Numerical and experimental results obtained on COMAN+, a torque-controlled humanoid robot designed at Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, validate our framework for loco-manipulation tasks of different complexity.
Gruppo di ricerca: Robotics
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