Abstract

Accurate control of a humanoid robot's global position (i.e., its three-dimensional position in the world) is critical to the reliable execution of high-risk tasks such as avoiding collision with pedestrians in a crowded environment. This paper introduces a time-based nonlinear control method that achieves accurate global-position tracking (GPT) for multi-domain bipedal walking. Deriving a tracking controller for bipedal robots is challenging due to the highly complex robot dynamics that are time-varying and hybrid, especially for multi-domain walking that involves multiple phases/domains of full actuation, over actuation, and underactuation. To tackle this challenge, we introduce a continuous-phase GPT control law for multi-domain walking, which provably ensures the exponential convergence of the entire error state within the full and over actuation domains and that of the directly regulated error state within the underactuation domain. We then construct sufficient multiple-Lyapunov stability conditions for the hybrid multi-domain tracking error system under the proposed GPT control law. We illustrate the proposed controller design through both three-domain walking with all motors activated and two-domain gait with inactive ankle motors. Simulations of a ROBOTIS OP3 bipedal humanoid robot demonstrate the satisfactory accuracy and convergence rate of the proposed control approach under two different cases of multi-domain walking as well as various walking speeds and desired paths.

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