A Simple Stabilizing Control for Sagittal Plane Locomotion

  • Schmitt J
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Abstract

Thespring loaded inverted pendulum model has been shown to accuratelymodel sagittal plane locomotion for a variety of legged animalsand has been used as a target for control forhigher dimensional robotic implementations. Tuned appropriately, the model exhibits passivelystable periodic gaits using either fixed leg touch-down angle orswing-leg retraction leg touch-down protocols. In this work, we examinethe performance of the model when model parameters are setto values characteristic of an insect, in particular the cockroachBlaberus discoidalis. While body motions and forces exhibited during astride are shown to compare well with those observed experimentally,almost all of the resulting periodic gaits are unstable. Wetherefore develop and analyze a simple adaptive control scheme thatimproves periodic gait stability properties. Since it is unlikely thatneural reflexes can act quickly enough during a stride toeffect control, control is applied once per stance phase throughappropriate choice of the leg touch-down angle. The control lawdeveloped is novel since it achieves gait stabilization solely througha judicious combination of leg lift-off and touch-down angles, insteadof utilizing all of the system positions and velocities infull-state feedback control. Implementing the control law improves the stabilityproperties of a large number of periodic gaits and enablesmovement between stable periodic gaits by changing a single parameter. ©2006 American Society of Mechanical Engineers

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Authors

  • John Schmitt

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