Automatic Gait Pattern Selection for Legged Robots (IROS)

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An important issue when synthesizing legged locomotion plans is the combinatorial complexity that arises from gait pattern selection. Though it can be defined manually, the gait pattern plays an important role in the feasibility and optimality of a motion with respect to a task. Replacing human intuition with an automatic and efficient approach for gait pattern selection would allow for more autonomous robots, responsive to task and environment changes. To this end, we propose the idea of building a map from task to gait pattern selection for given environment and performance objective. Indeed, we show that for a 2D half-cheetah model and a quadruped robot, a direct mapping between a given task and an optimal gait pattern can be established. We use supervised learning to capture the structure of this map in a form of gait regions. Furthermore, we propose to construct a warm-starting trajectory for each gait region. We empirically show that these warm-starting trajectories improve the convergence speed of our trajectory optimization problem up to 60 times when compared with random initial guesses. Finally, we conduct experimental trials on the ANYmal robot to validate our method. Drawing Drawing