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Proceedings Paper

Toward humanoid robots for operations in complex urban environments
Author(s): Jerry E. Pratt; Peter Neuhaus; Matthew Johnson; John Carff; Ben Krupp
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Paper Abstract

Many infantry operations in urban environments, such as building clearing, are extremely dangerous and difficult and often result in high casualty rates. Despite the fast pace of technological progress in many other areas, the tactics and technology deployed for many of these dangerous urban operation have not changed much in the last 50 years. While robots have been extremely useful for improvised explosive device (IED) detonation, under-vehicle inspection, surveillance, and cave exploration, there is still no fieldable robot that can operate effectively in cluttered streets and inside buildings. Developing a fieldable robot that can maneuver in complex urban environments is challenging due to narrow corridors, stairs, rubble, doors and cluttered doorways, and other obstacles. Typical wheeled and tracked robots have trouble getting through most of these obstacles. A bipedal humanoid is ideally shaped for many of these obstacles because its legs are long and skinny. Therefore it has the potential to step over large barriers, gaps, rocks, and steps, yet squeeze through narrow passageways, and through narrow doorways. By being able to walk with one foot directly in front of the other, humanoids also have the potential to walk over narrow "balance beam" style objects and can cross a narrow row of stepping stones. We describe some recent advances in humanoid robots, particularly recovery from disturbances, such as pushes and walking over rough terrain. Our disturbance recovery algorithms are based on the concept of Capture Points. An N-Step Capture Point is a point on the ground in which a legged robot can step to in order to stop in N steps. The N-Step Capture Region is the set of all N-Step Capture Points. In order to walk without falling, a legged robot must step somewhere in the intersection between an N-Step Capture Region and the available footholds on the ground. We present results of push recovery using Capture Points on our humanoid robot M2V2.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 May 2010
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 7692, Unmanned Systems Technology XII, 769212 (13 May 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.852726
Show Author Affiliations
Jerry E. Pratt, Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (United States)
Peter Neuhaus, Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (United States)
Matthew Johnson, Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (United States)
John Carff, Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (United States)
Ben Krupp, Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7692:
Unmanned Systems Technology XII
Grant R. Gerhart; Douglas W. Gage; Charles M. Shoemaker, Editor(s)

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