Trajectory generation for dynamic bipedal walking through qualitative model based manifold learning
Legged robots represent great promise for transport in unstructured environments. However, it has been difficult to devise motion planning strategies that achieve a combination of energy efficiency, safety and flexibility comparable to legged animals. In this paper, we address this issue by presenting a trajectory generation strategy for dynamic bipedal walking robots using a factored approach to motion planning - combining a low-dimensional plan (based on intermittently actuated passive walking in a compass-gait biped) with a manifold learning algorithm that solves the problem of embedding this plan in the high-dimensional phase space of the robot. This allows us to achieve task level control (over step length) in an energy efficient way - starting with only a coarse qualitative model of the system dynamics and performing a data-driven approximation of the dynamics in order to synthesize families of dynamically realizable trajectories. We demonstrate the utility of this approach with simulation results for a multi-link legged robot.