Publication:Skating with a Force Controlled Quadrupedal Robot

Publication: Skating with a Force Controlled Quadrupedal Robot

  • Authors: Bjelonic, Marko; Bellicoso, C. Dario; Tiryaki, M. Efe; Hutter, Marco


Presented at: IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Madrid, Spain, October, 1-5, 2018

Traditional legged robots are capable of traversing challenging terrain, but lack of energy efficiency when compared to wheeled systems operating on flat environments. The combination of both locomotion domains overcomes the trade-off between mobility and efficiency. Therefore, this paper presents a novel motion planner and controller which together enable a legged robot equipped with skates to perform skating maneuvers. These are achieved by an appropriate combination of planned reaction forces and gliding motions. Our novel motion controller formulates a Virtual Model Controller and an optimal contact force distribution which takes into account the nonholonomic constraints introduced by the skates. This approach has been tested on the torque-controllable robot ANYmal equipped with passive wheels and ice skates as end-effectors. We conducted experiments on flat and inclined terrain, whereby we show that skating motions reduces the cost of transport by up to 80 % with respect to traditional walking gaits.


Posted on: August 21, 2018