Volume 20 Issue 02 - Publications Date: 1 February 2001
Virtual Model Control: An Intuitive Approach for Bipedal Locomotion
J. Pratt Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, C-M. Chew, A. Torres, P. Dilworth and G. Pratt
Virtual model control is a motion control framework that uses virtual components to create virtual forces generated when the virtual components interact with a robot system. An algorithm derived based on the virtual model control framework is applied to a physical planar bipedal robot. It uses a simple set of virtual components that allows the robot to walk successfully over level terrain. This paper also describes how the algorithm can be augmented for rough terrain walking based on geometric consideration. The resulting algorithm is very simple and does not require the biped to have an extensive sensory system. The robot does not know the slope gradients and transition locations in advance. The ground is detected using foot contact switches. Using the algorithm, we have successfully compelled a simulated seven-link planar biped to walk blindly up and down slopes and over rolling terrain.
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