E90 Senior Design Project:
Walking Pattern Generation for Humanoid Robots
Advisor: Professor Matt Zucker
For my senior design project at Swarthmore in 2015, I worked on the generation and implementation of walking patterns on the DARwIn OP, an 18 inch, 20 dof open platform humanoid robot. My original inspiration came from the desire to allow humanoid robots to walk in a more natural fashion beyond the cramped gait employed by many robots today. In particular I am interested in extending the walking capabilities of humanoid robots given current kinematic configurations. My project is based upon previous research at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) on stretched leg walking, which I am comparing to ZMP preview control generated walking patterns (link 1, link 2). Passive dynamic walking was briefly considered, but was infeasible given the kinematic design of the DARwIn OP. By designing and implementing both walking patterns on the DARwIn OP, I showed that both walking patterns could be optimized to be open loop stable and reliable in forward motion. In addition, I showed that stretched leg walking can be extended to robots with correspondently fewer degrees of freedom than the HUBO robot used by KAIST, and is qualitatively as stable and potentially more energy efficient than ZMP preview control for forward motion, although at major expense to footstep planning beyond forward motion.
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