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Proceedings Paper

High degree-of-freedom dynamic manipulation
Author(s): Michael P. Murphy; Benjamin Stephens; Yeuhi Abe; Alfred A. Rizzi
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Paper Abstract

The creation of high degree of freedom dynamic mobile manipulation techniques and behaviors will allow robots to accomplish difficult tasks in the field. We are investigating the use of the body and legs of legged robots to improve the strength, velocity, and workspace of an integrated manipulator to accomplish dynamic manipulation. This is an especially challenging task, as all of the degrees of freedom are active at all times, the dynamic forces generated are high, and the legged system must maintain robust balance throughout the duration of the tasks. To accomplish this goal, we are utilizing trajectory optimization techniques to generate feasible open-loop behaviors for our 28 dof quadruped robot (BigDog) by planning the trajectories in a 13 dimensional space. Covariance Matrix Adaptation techniques are utilized to optimize for several criteria such as payload capability and task completion speed while also obeying constraints such as torque and velocity limits, kinematic limits, and center of pressure location. These open-loop behaviors are then used to generate feed-forward terms, which are subsequently used online to improve tracking and maintain low controller gains. Some initial results on one of our existing balancing quadruped robots with an additional human-arm-like manipulator are demonstrated on robot hardware, including dynamic lifting and throwing of heavy objects 16.5kg cinder blocks, using motions that resemble a human athlete more than typical robotic motions. Increased payload capacity is accomplished through coordinated body motion.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 May 2012
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 8387, Unmanned Systems Technology XIV, 83870V (25 May 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.919939
Show Author Affiliations
Michael P. Murphy, Boston Dynamics (United States)
Benjamin Stephens, Boston Dynamics (United States)
Yeuhi Abe, Boston Dynamics (United States)
Alfred A. Rizzi, Boston Dynamics (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8387:
Unmanned Systems Technology XIV
Robert E. Karlsen; Douglas W. Gage; Charles M. Shoemaker; Grant R. Gerhart, Editor(s)

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