Implementation and stability analysis of prioritized whole-body compliant controllers on a wheeled humanoid robot in uneven terrains

Research paper by Luis Sentis, Josh Petersen, Roland Philippsen

Indexed on: 13 Aug '13Published on: 13 Aug '13Published in: Autonomous Robots


In this work, we implement the floating base prioritized whole-body compliant control framework described in Sentis et al. (IEEE Transactions on Robotics 26(3):483–501, 2010) on a wheeled humanoid robot maneuvering in sloped terrains. We then test it for a variety of compliant whole-body behaviors including balance and kinesthetic mobility on irregular terrain, and Cartesian hand position tracking using the co-actuated (i.e. two joints are simultaneously actuated with one motor) robot’s upper body. The implementation serves as a hardware proof for a variety of whole-body control concepts that had previously been developed and tested in simulation. First, behaviors of two and three priority tasks are implemented and successfully executed on the humanoid hardware. In particular, first and second priority tasks are linearized in the task space through model feedback and then controlled through task accelerations. Postures, on the other hand, are shown to be asymptotically stable when using prioritized whole-body control structures and then successfully tested in the real hardware. To cope with irregular terrains, the base is modeled as a six degree of freedom floating system and the wheels are characterized through contact and rolling constraints. Finally, center of mass balance capabilities using whole-body compliant control and kinesthetic mobility are implemented and tested in the humanoid hardware to climb terrains with various slopes.