Lab Members Attended Research Day

Jing Cheng presented his research on iterative learning control on ECS research day. Jiayu Ding, Yasser Gurmallah A Alqaham, Deze Liu attended the poster sessions.

Yasser G. Alqaham submitted a conference paper to IROS on the Optimal Bounding Gaits of Quadrupedal Robots

Abstract— It is often overlooked by roboticists when designing locomotion controllers for their legged machines, that energy consumption plays an important role in selecting the best gaits for locomotion at high speeds or over long distances. The purpose of this study is to examine four similar asymmetrical quadrupedal gaits that are frequently observed in legged animals in nature. To understand how a specific footfall pattern will change the energetics of a legged system, we first developed a full body model of a quadrupedal robot called A1. And for each gait we created a hybrid system with desired footfall sequence and rigid impacts. In order to find the most energy efficient gait, we used optimal control methods to formulate the problem as a trajectory optimization problem with proper constraints and objective function. This problem was implemented and solved in a nonlinear programming framework called FROST. Based on the optimized trajectories for each gait, we investigated the values of cost of transport and the work done by all joints. Moreover, we analyzed the exchange of angular momentum in different components of the system during the whole stride cycle. According to the simulation results, bounding with two flight phases is likely to be the most energy efficient gait for A1 across a wide range of speed.

Jiayu Ding submitted a conference paper to IROS on the Symmetries of Quadrupedal Gaits

Abstract— Symmetry manifests itself in legged locomotion in a variety of ways. No matter where a legged system begins to move periodically, the torso and limbs coordinate with each other’s movements in a similar manner. Also, in many gaits observed in nature, the legs on both sides of the torso move in exactly the same way, sometimes they are just half a period out of phase. Furthermore, when some animals move forward and backward, their movements are strikingly similar as if the time had been reversed. This work aims to generalize these phenomena and propose formal definitions of symmetries in legged locomotion using group theory terminology. Symmetries in some common quadrupedal gaits such as pronking, bounding, half-bounding, and galloping have been discussed. Moreover, a spring-mass model has been used to demonstrate how breaking symmetries can alter gaits in a legged system. Studying the symmetries may provide insight into which gaits may be suitable for a particular robotic design, or may enable roboticists to design more agile and efficient robot controllers by using certain gaits.