Not long ago, a biped robot that could walk without falling was considered the most advanced in the field of robotics. However, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are working on an acrobatic humanoid robot that will make them fight for their own money (only if possible). The researchers said that to make such a humanoid robot that can perform acrobatics, such as forward somersaults and back somersaults and spin jumps, requires a systematic approach across hardware design, motion planning, and control. In their latest research, the researchers proposed a new design of a humanoid robot-an actuator-sensing Kino-dynamic motion planner and landing controller as part of a practical system design.
The researchers say that when these are combined, they will allow highly dynamic motion control of the humanoid robot. To achieve this “pulse motion”, the team developed two new proprioceptive actuators—different from Boston Dynamics’ ATLAS robot, which uses hydraulic actuators—that can help any legged robot achieve highly dynamic motion.
The researchers said that the kino-dynamic motion planner shows the torque, speed, and power limits of the actuator. “For landing control, we have effectively integrated model predictive control and whole-body pulse control by connecting model predictive control and whole-body pulse control in a dynamic and consistent manner to achieve long-term optimal control and feedback based on high-bandwidth whole-body dynamics. ,” read the introduction to the paper.
The paper entitled “MIT Humanoid Robots: Design, Motion Planning, and Controlling Acrobatic Behaviors” by Matthew Chignoli, Donghyun Kim, Elijah Stanger-Jones and Sangbae Kim has been published on arXiv.
In addition to the above details, the researchers stated that with the help of well-designed hardware and control frameworks, they successfully demonstrated dynamic behavior, back somersaults, forward somersaults, and spin jumps in our realistic dynamic simulations.
The team also shared a video in which an animated humanoid robot performs operations that researchers expect the machine to perform after it runs. In the simulation, you can see the robot perform forward somersault, back somersault, 180-degree spin jump, barrel roll, hurdle jump, and lateral hurdle jump.
Author Matthew Chignoli said that the main focus of leg design is to realize the “heel to toe” movement that occurs when humans walk and run.
IEEE Spectrum quoted Chignoli as saying: “When it comes to the physical capabilities of the robot, anything we show in the simulation should be feasible on the robot.” “We included detailed models of the robot actuator and battery in the simulation. The model has been experimentally verified. This detailed model is not often included in the dynamic simulation of the robot.”
The report further stated that the design of the MIT humanoid robot has been completed, and the team plans to build it in the summer.