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Contact forces pre-integration for the whole body estimation of legged robots

Abstract : State estimation, in particular estimation of the base position, orientation and velocity, plays a big role in the efficiency of legged robot stabilization. The estimation of the base state is particularly important because of its strong correlation with the underactuated dynamics, i.e. the evolution of center of mass and angular momentum. Yet this estimation is typically done in two phases, first estimating the base state, then reconstructing the center of mass from the robot model. The underactuated dynamics is indeed not properly observed, and any bias in the model would not be corrected from the sensors. While it has already been observed that force measurements make such a bias observable, these are often only used for a binary estimation of the contact state. In this paper, we propose to simultaneously estimate the base and the underactuation state by using all measurements simultaneously. To this end, we propose several contributions to implement a complete state estimator using factor graphs. Contact forces altering the underactuated dynamics are pre-integrated using a novel adaptation of the IMU pre-integration method, which constitutes the principal contribution. IMU pre-integration is also used to measure the positional motion of the base. Encoder measurements are then participating to the estimation in two ways: by providing leg odometry displacements, contributing to the observability of IMU biases; and by relating the positional and centroidal states, thus connecting the whole graph and producing a tightly-coupled whole-body estimator. The validity of the approach is demonstrated on real data captured by the Solo12 quadruped robot.
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Contributor : Médéric Fourmy <>
Submitted on : Friday, November 6, 2020 - 10:10:41 AM
Last modification on : Friday, March 12, 2021 - 3:06:52 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Sunday, February 7, 2021 - 6:27:18 PM


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  • HAL Id : hal-02991717, version 1


Mederic Fourmy, Thomas Flayols, Nicolas Mansard, Joan Solà. Contact forces pre-integration for the whole body estimation of legged robots. 2021 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation - ICRA, May 2021, Xi'an, China. ⟨hal-02991717⟩



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