Bipedal Walking Robot

Research into bipedal walking robots can be split into two categories: active and passive. The passive or un-powered category is of interest as it illustrates that walking is fundamentally a dynamic problem. Passive walkers do not require actuators, sensors, or computers in order to make them move, but walk down gentle slopes generating motion by the hardware geometry. The passive walkers also illustrate the walking can be performed with very little power input.

Active walker can further be split into two categories; those that employ the natural dynamics of specialized actuators, and those that are fully power operated. These robots have been shown to have robust and stable performance from relatively simple control mechanisms.

The alternate approach is to control the joints through pre-specified trajectories to a known “good” gait pattern. This is a simple approach, but lack robustness to disturbances. This approach becomes more complex when additional layers are added to provide adjustments to the gait for disturbance. Controlling a fully powered biped in a manner that depends on the dynamic model is complicated by the complex dynamic equations for the robot’s motion. It moved a dynamic torso with significant mass through 2 DOF to keep the Zero Moment Point (ZMP) within the polygon of the support foot.

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