, Volume 27, Issue 3, pp 277-290
Date: 29 Jul 2009

A framework for the control of stable aperiodic walking in underactuated planar bipeds

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This paper presents a new definition of stable walking for point-footed planar bipedal robots that is not necessarily periodic. The inspiration for the definition is the commonly-held notion of stable walking: the biped does not fall. Somewhat more formally, biped walking is shown to be stable if the trajectory of each step places the robot in a state at the end of the step for which a controller is known to exist that generates a trajectory for the next step with this same property. To make the definition useful, an algorithm is given to verify if a given controller induces stable walking in the given sense. Also given is a framework to synthesize controllers that induce stable walking. The results are illustrated on a 5-link biped ERNIE in simulation and experiment.