A unified model with inertia shaping for highly dynamic jumps of legged robots

Ke Wang, Guiyang Xin*, Songyan Xin, Michael Mistry, Sethu Vijayakumar, Petar Kormushev

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

To achieve highly dynamic jumps with legged robots, it is essential to control the rotational dynamics of the robot. In this paper, we aim to improve the jumping performance by proposing a unified model for planning highly dynamic jumps that can approximately model the centroidal inertia. This model abstracts the robot as a single rigid body for the base and point masses for the legs. The model is called the Lump Leg Single Rigid Body Model (LL-SRBM) and can be used to plan motions for both bipedal and quadrupedal robots. By taking the effects of leg dynamics into account, LL-SRBM provides a computationally efficient way for the motion planner to change the centroidal inertia of the robot with various leg configurations. Concurrently, we propose a novel contact detection method by using the norm of the average spatial velocity. After the contact is detected, the controller is switched to force control to achieve a soft landing. Twisting jump and forward jump experiments on the bipedal robot SLIDER and quadrupedal robot ANYmal demonstrate the improved jump performance by actively changing the centroidal inertia. These experiments also show the generalization and the robustness of the integrated planning and control framework.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103040
Pages (from-to)1-10
Publication statusPublished - 16 Aug 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Legged robots
  • Optimization and optimal control
  • Whole-body motion planning and control


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