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Bipedal walker adapts to passenger weight

June 14, 2011

The HUBO FX-1 is a two-legged robot with a cockpit area to carry passengers. Besides being very entertaining to ride around in, the robot could also be used to help wheelchair-bound people regain mobility and overcome tough obstacles such as staircases.

Research for this robots has so far focussed on generating a walking pattern while controlling balance and reducing vibrations with parameters optimized for a passenger of a certain fixed weight. However, if the passenger is much lighter or much heavier than the predefined weight, the walking performance and stability go down.

To overcome this problem, Kim et al. propose a new approach that adapts to the weight of the passenger measured by using the force/torque sensors at the feet of the robot. Results show that their approach achieves better walking performance than the original non-adaptive approach.

Sabine Hauert is lecturer at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory and co-founder of Robohub, the Robots Podcast and the Autonomous Robots blog... read more


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