Towards a Passive Adaptive Planar Foot with Ground Orientation and Contact Force Sensing for Legged Robots

Adapting to the ground enables stable footholds in legged locomotion by exploiting the structure of the terrain. On that account, we present a passive adaptive planar foot with three rotational degrees of freedom that is lightweight and thus suited for highly dynamic legged robots. Its low laying pivot joint provides high stability towards kinking. Information about the relative foot sole pose, and accordingly, the ground orientation is gathered by inertial measurement units (IMUs) placed on the foot sole and the shank. A complementary filter is presented that fuses these orientation estimates with an angular encoder to obtain a drift-free relative foot sole pose. The passive adaptive planar foot has been tested and compared to the classical point foot design on a variety of terrains and shows superior traction performance, especially on compressible soils. Being mounted on the quadrupedal robot ANYmal, the foot provides a reliable contact detection based on the fusion of the built-in 6-axis force/torque transducer and the IMUs. This allows to walk and trot on uneven terrain, loose soils, as well as climbing up a ramp and stairs while keeping the entire foot sole in ground contact all the time.

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2018 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Madrid, Spain, October 1-5, 2018
Jan 07 2019
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 Record created 2019-10-31, last modified 2019-11-06

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