Abstract: As an alternative to traditional wheeled and tracked ground vehicles, biologically-inspired legged systems are becoming increasingly common. This talk will present work on the systematic design of feedback controllers for running motions in monopedal robots with compliant elements, emphasizing the careful analysis of the stability properties of the closed-loop system. The presentation will first discuss a simplified model based on an extension of the Spring Loaded Inverted Pendulum (SLIP) that includes torso dynamics asymmetrically coupled to the leg motion. Then, it will move on to more recent work on the control of a more complete model that accurately represents Thumper, a monopedal robot that was recently constructed in a collaborative effort between the University of Michigan and Carnegie Mellon University.
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