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This content will become publicly available on March 1, 2023

Title: Cooperative Locomotion Via Supervisory Predictive Control and Distributed Nonlinear Controllers
Abstract This paper presents a hierarchical nonlinear control algorithm for the real-time planning and control of cooperative locomotion of legged robots that collaboratively carry objects. An innovative network of reduced-order models subject to holonomic constraints, referred to as interconnected linear inverted pendulum (LIP) dynamics, is presented to study cooperative locomotion. The higher level of the proposed algorithm employs a supervisory controller, based on event-based model predictive control (MPC), to effectively compute the optimal reduced-order trajectories for the interconnected LIP dynamics. The lower level of the proposed algorithm employs distributed nonlinear controllers to reduce the gap between reduced- and full-order complex models of cooperative locomotion. In particular, the distributed controllers are developed based on quadratic programing (QP) and virtual constraints to impose the full-order dynamical models of each agent to asymptotically track the reduced-order trajectories while having feasible contact forces at the leg ends. The paper numerically investigates the effectiveness of the proposed control algorithm via full-order simulations of a team of collaborative quadrupedal robots, each with a total of 22 degrees-of-freedom. The paper finally investigates the robustness of the proposed control algorithm against uncertainties in the payload mass and changes in the ground height profile. Numerical studies show that the more » cooperative agents can transport unknown payloads whose masses are up to 57%, 97%, and 137% of a single agent's mass with a team of two, three, and four legged robots. « less
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Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement, and Control
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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