The vast majority of state-of-the-art walking robots employ flat or ball feet for locomotion, presenting limitations while stepping on obstacles, slopes, or unstructured terrain. Moreover, traditional feet for quadrupeds lack sensing systems that are able to provide information about the environment and about the foot interaction with the surroundings. This further diminishes their value. Inspired by our previous work on soft feet for bipedal robots, we present the SoftFoot-Q, an articulated adaptive foot for quadrupeds. This device is conceived to be robust and able to overcome the limitations of currently employed feet. The core idea behind our adaptive foot design is first introduced and validated through a simplified mathematical formulation of the problem. Subsequently, we present the chosen mechanical implementation to attempt overcoming current limitations. The realized prototype of adaptive foot is integrated and tested on the compliantly actuated quadrupedal robot ANYmal together with an ROS-based real-time foot pose reconstruction software. Both extensive field tests and indoor experiments show noticeable performance improvements, in terms of reduced slippage of the robot, with respect to both flat and ball feet.

Adaptive Feet for Quadrupedal Walkers

Catalano, MG;Pollayil, MJ;Grioli, G;Bicchi, A;Garabini, M
2021-01-01

Abstract

The vast majority of state-of-the-art walking robots employ flat or ball feet for locomotion, presenting limitations while stepping on obstacles, slopes, or unstructured terrain. Moreover, traditional feet for quadrupeds lack sensing systems that are able to provide information about the environment and about the foot interaction with the surroundings. This further diminishes their value. Inspired by our previous work on soft feet for bipedal robots, we present the SoftFoot-Q, an articulated adaptive foot for quadrupeds. This device is conceived to be robust and able to overcome the limitations of currently employed feet. The core idea behind our adaptive foot design is first introduced and validated through a simplified mathematical formulation of the problem. Subsequently, we present the chosen mechanical implementation to attempt overcoming current limitations. The realized prototype of adaptive foot is integrated and tested on the compliantly actuated quadrupedal robot ANYmal together with an ROS-based real-time foot pose reconstruction software. Both extensive field tests and indoor experiments show noticeable performance improvements, in terms of reduced slippage of the robot, with respect to both flat and ball feet.
2021
Catalano, Mg; Pollayil, Mj; Grioli, G; Valsecchi, G; Kolvenbach, H; Hutter, M; Bicchi, A; Garabini, M
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/1123890
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