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Front. Neurorobot. | doi: 10.3389/fnbot.2019.00036

Human-Inspired Online Path Planning and Biped Walking Realization in Unknown Environment

  • 1Higher Technical Institute, University of Lisbon, Portugal
  • 2University of Novi Sad, Serbia

The focus of research in biped locomotion has moved toward real-life scenario applications, like walking on uneven terrain, passing through doors, climbing stairs and ladders. As a result, we are witnessing significant advances in the locomotion of biped robots, enabling them to move in hazardous environments while simultaneously accomplishing complex manipulation tasks. Yet, considering walking in an unknown environment, the efficiency of humanoid robots is still far from being comparable with the human. Currently, bipeds are very sensitive to external changes and they have severe constraints for adaptation of walk to conditions from such a complex environment. Promising approaches for efficient generation and realization of walking in a complex environment are based on biological solutions that have been developed for many years of evolution.

This work presents one such human-inspired methodology for path planning and realization of biped walk appropriate for motion in a complex unfamiliar environment. Path planning results in calculating clothoid curves that represent well the human-like walking path. The robot walk is realized by the composition of parametric motion primitives. Such an approach enables on-line modification of planned path and walk parameters at any moment, instantly. To establish the relationship between high-level path planner and the low-level joint motion realization, we had to find a way to extract the parameters of the clothoid paths that can be linked with the parameters of the walk and consequently to motion primitive parameters. This enabled the robot to adopt its walking for avoiding the obstacles and for a smooth transition between different paths. In this paper we provide a complete framework that integrates the following components: (i) bio-inspired online path planning, (ii) path-dependent automatic calculation of high-level gait parameters (step length, walking speed, direction and the height of the foot sole) and (iii) automatic calculation of low-level joint movements and corresponding control terms (driving motor voltage) through the adaptation of motion primitives which realize walking pattern and preserves the dynamic balance of the robot.

Keywords: humanoid robot, Bipedal locomotion, motion primitives, path planning, Clothoid, walk realization

Received: 01 Nov 2018; Accepted: 17 May 2019.

Edited by:

Calogero M. Oddo, Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Italy

Reviewed by:

Piotr Skrzypczynski, Poznań University of Technology, Poland
Yixiang Liu, Harbin Institute of Technology, China  

Copyright: © 2019 Rakovic, Savić, Santos-Victor, Nikolić and Borovac. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence:
Dr. Mirko Rakovic, Higher Technical Institute, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, 1049-001, Lisbon, Portugal, rakovicm@uns.ac.rs
Dr. Srđan Savić, University of Novi Sad, Novi Sad, Serbia, savics@uns.ac.rs