Motivation: Controlling humanoid robots is one of challenging subjects of robotics, where satisfactory solutions in hardware, sensors, modeling and algorithms’ design are far from being found and standardized.  Despite the long history, the substantial technological progress in sensing/actuating robots and enormous studies of human/animal locomotion, we still live alone without amusing variety of crawling/walking/running mechanisms that help at home and office, entertain in café, theater and museum, nurse at hospital and educate in school. 

It is believed that among other reasons responsible for this, is a deficit of fundamental concepts and rigorous mathematical tools for analysis and control of bipeds (legged mechanisms), which does not allow constructing light, flexible, relatively cheap (possibly specialized) robots with human or animal-like behaviors to stand from chair, walk at different speeds on unknown ground or on a stairs, dance etc. Such situation strongly encourages young researchers/students to enter the field.

Content: This course is aimed at comprehensive studies of the topic through reading the proposed collection of reports, reviews and papers deliberately chosen to illustrate the leg locomotion problem with different perspectives: starting from analysis of insects/animals motions up to details of constructing a humanoid biped. The main part of the reading material as well as four Lectures are focused on

Literature for reading

[1]  Dickinson M., C. Farley, R. Full, M. Koehl, R. Kram and S. Lehman. `How Animals Move: An Integrative View,’ Science, Vol. 288, pp. 100-106, 2000.

[2]   Chevallereau C., G. Abba, Y. Aoustin, F. Plestan, E.R. Westervelt, C. Canudas-de-Wit and J.W. Grizzle. `RABBIT: A Testbed for Advanced Control Theory,’ IEEE Control Systems Magazine, No. 10, pp. 57-79, 2003.

[3]  Abba G. and N. Chaillet. `Robot Dynamical Modeling Using a Power Flow Approach with Application to Biped Locomotion,’ Autonomous Robots, Vol. 6, pp. 39-52, 1999.

[4]   Hobbelen D.G.E. and M. Wisse. `Limit Cycle Walking.’ In the collection of articles: `Humanoid Robots, Human-like Machines’ edited by M. Hackel, I-Tech Education and Publishing, pp. 277-294, 2007.

[5]  Holmes Ph., R. Full, D. Koditschek and J. Guckenheimer. `The Dynamics of Legged Locomotion: Models, Analyses, and Challenges,’ SIAM Review, Vol. 48, pp. 207-304, 2006.

This course has been taught for several years at the NTNU (NORWAY)