Morphological self stabilization of locomotion gaits: illustration on a few examples from bio-inspired locomotion

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Chevallereau , Christine ; Boyer , Frédéric ; Porez , Mathieu ; Mauny , Johan ; Aoustin , Yannick (2017)

International audience; — To a large extent, robotics locomotion can be viewed as cyclic motions, named gaits. Due to the high complexity of the locomotion dynamics, to find the control laws that ensure an expected gait and its stability with respect to external perturbations, is a challenging issue for feedback control. To address this issue, a promising way is to take inspiration from animals that intensively exploit the interactions of the passive degrees of freedom of their body with their physical surroundings, to outsource the high-level exteroceptive feedback control to low-level proprioceptive ones. In this case, passive interactions can ensure the most of the expected control goals. In this article, we propose a methodological framework to study the role of morphology in the design of locomotion gaits and their stability. This framework ranges from modelling to control aspects, and is illustrated through three examples from bio-inspired locomotion: a three-dimensional micro air vehicle in hovering flight, a pendular planar climber and a bipedal planar walker. In these three cases, we will see how simple considerations based on the morphology of the body can ensure the existence of passive stable gaits without requiring any high-level control.
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