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Bipedal Walking and Impact Reduction Algorithm for a Robot with Pneumatically Driven Knees

Donghyun Kim, Yun-Pyo Hong, and Kyung-Soo Kim*
International Journal of Control, Automation, and Systems, vol. 19, no. 12, pp.3937-3946, 2021

Abstract : "We propose a bipedal walking and impact reduction algorithm for a bipedal robot with pneumatically driven knees. The proposed algorithm is meaningful in that unlike in the existing studies on fully pneumatically driven robots and their control, it can overcome the low control performance of pneumatic actuators while utilizing the high compliance of pneumatic actuators through the high control performance of other joints in robots that apply pneumatic actuators only to the knee joint. Our algorithm takes advantage of whole-body control to overcome the low control performance of pneumatic systems and utilizes pneumatic compliance by simultaneously controlling the force and stiffness of the pneumatic actuators. Since a pneumatic actuator outputs a force, a force and torque converter is added to the general whole-body control framework, and a torque limit is considered as a function of the joint angle. In addition, a mechanism for selecting the stiffness of the knee is added. In particular, a force control method based on maintaining the minimum stiffness is applied to reduce the impact force when the ground conditions suddenly change. The pneumatics and the robot system were accurately modeled in a simulation, and the proposed algorithm was applied in the simulation to realize bipedal walking and to confirm the impact reduction effect in the event of a sudden ground condition change."

Keyword : Bipedal walking, impact reduction, pneumatic actuator, stiffness, whole-body control.

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