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300tube Carlos Mastalli   12 December, 2017

Simultaneous Contact, Gait and Motion Planning for Robust Multi-Legged Locomotion via MICP


Simultaneous Contact, Gait and Motion Planning for Robust Multi-Legged Locomotion via Mixed-Integer Convex Optimization

Bernardo Aceituno-Cabezas, Carlos Mastalli Hongkai Dai, Michele Focchi, Andrea Radulescu, Darwin G. Caldwell, Jose Cappelletto, Juan Carlos Grieco, Gerardo Fernandez-Lopez, Claudio Semini
IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters 2017

Abstract— Traditional motion planning approaches for multi-legged locomotion divide the problem into several stages, such as contact search and trajectory generation. However, reasoning about contacts and motions simultaneously is crucial for the generation of complex whole-body behaviors. Currently, coupling theses problems has required either the assumption of a fixed gait sequence and flat terrain condition, or non-convex optimization with intractable computation time. In this paper, we propose a mixed-integer convex formulation to plan simultaneously contact locations, gait transitions and motion, in a computationally efficient fashion. In contrast to previous works, our approach is not limited to flat terrain nor to a pre-specified gait sequence. Instead, we incorporate the friction cone stability margin, approximate the robot's torque limits, and plan the gait using mixed-integer convex constraints. We experimentally validated our approach on the HyQ robot by traversing different challenging terrains, where non-convexity and flat terrain assumptions might lead to sub-optimal or unstable plans. Our method increases the motion generality while keeping a low computation time.

Official paper download link at publisher:

 Pre-prints of all our papers can be found here: (Publications)

The following publications provide the details about the online computation of the terrain costmap and the whole-body controller

 C. Mastalli, A. Winkler, I. Havoutis, D. G. Caldwell, C. Semini, On-line and On-board Planning and Perception for Quadrupedal Locomotion, IEEE International Conference on Technologies for Practical Robot Applications (TEPRA), 2015.

C. Mastalli, I. Havoutis, M. Focchi, D. G. Caldwell, C. Semini, Motion planning for quadrupedal locomotion: coupled planning, terrain
mapping and whole-body control, The International Journal on Robotics Research (IJRR), under-review