Autonomous Robots

, Volume 40, Issue 3, pp 493–504 | Cite as

Whole-body hierarchical motion and force control for humanoid robots

  • Mingxing Liu
  • Ryan Lober
  • Vincent Padois


Robots acting in human environments usually need to perform multiple motion and force tasks while respecting a set of constraints. When a physical contact with the environment is established, the newly activated force task or contact constraint may interfere with other tasks. The objective of this paper is to provide a control framework that can achieve real-time control of humanoid robots performing both strict and non strict prioritized motion and force tasks. It is a torque-based quasi-static control framework, which handles a dynamically changing task hierarchy with simultaneous priority transitions as well as activation or deactivation of tasks. A quadratic programming problem is solved to maintain desired task hierarchies, subject to constraints. A generalized projector is used to quantitatively regulate how much a task can influence or be influenced by other tasks through the modulation of a priority matrix. By the smooth variations of the priority matrix, sudden hierarchy rearrangements can be avoided to reduce the risk of instability. The effectiveness of this approach is demonstrated on both a simulated and a real humanoid robot.


Whole-body control Physical contact Torque-based control Humanoid robots 



This work was partially supported by the European Commission, within the CoDyCo Project (FP7-ICT-2011-9, No. 600716) and by the RTE company through the RTE/UPMC chair “Robotics Systems for field intervention in constrained environment” held by Vincent Padois.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UPMC Univ Paris 06, UMR 7222, Institut des Systèmes Intelligents et de Robotique (ISIR)Sorbonne UniversitésParisFrance
  2. 2.CNRS, UMR 7222, ISIRParisFrance

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