A human-inspired mechanical criterion for multi-contact locomotion in humanoids

Abstract : This work aims at experimentally identifying a mechanical principle of locomotion stability in humans and demonstrating that this principle can be used for generating stable multi-contact motions for humanoids. For this purpose, a destabilizing setup was built on which five different experiments were carried out by 15 human volunteers. We first show experimentally that when humans balance is perturbed (walking on a destabilizing setup, increasing walking speed, grasping or not a fixed element), the distance between the center of mass (CoM) and the central axis of the external contact wrench significantly increases. This result is coupled with a theoretical reasoning in mechanics in order to exhibit how lowering this distance amounts to lower the body's angular acceleration and thus constitutes a good strategy against falling. Finally, we illustrate the interest of this result for humanoid robot motion generation by embedding the minimization of the distance between the CoM and the central axis of the external contact wrench in an optimal control formulation in order generate multi-contact locomotion.
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Rapport LAAS n° 17249. 2017
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François Bailly, Justin Carpentier, Bertrand Pinet, Philippe Souères, Bruno Watier. A human-inspired mechanical criterion for multi-contact locomotion in humanoids. Rapport LAAS n° 17249. 2017. 〈hal-01569252〉

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