Online Payload Identification for Quadruped Robots

Picture of IIT’s 80 kg HyQ loaded with a 10 kg backpack. The names of the links are shown on the picture itself together with the joints definitions: Hip Adduction-abduction (HAA), Hip Flexion-Extension (HFE), Knee Flexion-Extension (KFE).


The identification of inertial parameters is crucial to achieve high-performance model-based control of legged robots. The inertial parameters of the legs are typically not altered during expeditions and therefore are best identified offline. On the other hand, the trunk parameters depend on the modules mounted on the robot, like a motor to provide the hydraulic power, or different sets of cameras for perception. This motivates the use of recursive approaches to identify online the position of the Center of Mass (CoM) of the robot trunk, when a payload change occurs. We propose two such approaches and analyze their robustness in simulation. Furthermore, experimental trials on our 80-kg quadruped robot HyQ show the applicability of our strategies during locomotion to cope with large payload changes that would otherwise severely compromise the balance of the robot.

IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS)
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