This talk will survey recent work to achieve multi-contact locomotion control of humanoid and legged robots. I will start by presenting some results on robust optimization-based control. We exploited robust optimization techniques, either stochastic or worst-case, to improve the robustness of Task-Space Inverse Dynamics (TSID), a well-known control framework for legged robots. We modeled uncertainties in the joint torques, and we immunized the constraints of the system to any of the realizations of these uncertainties. We also applied the same methodology to ensure the balance of the robot despite bounded errors in the its inertial parameters. Extensive simulations in a realistic environment show that the proposed robust controllers greatly outperform the classic one. Then I will present preliminary results on a new capturability criterion for legged robots in multi-contact. "N-step capturability" is the ability of a system to come to a stop by taking N or fewer steps. Simplified models to compute N-step capturability already exist and are widely used, but they are limited to locomotion on flat terrains. We propose a new efficient algorithm to compute 0-step capturability for a robot in arbitrary contact scenarios. Finally, I will present our recent efforts to transfer the above-mentioned techniques to the real humanoid robot HRP-2, on which we recently implemented joint torque control.
Biography: Andrea Del Prete was born in Cesena (Italy) in 1984. He received his degree in Computer Engineering (with honors) from the 2nd faculty of the University of Bologna (Italy) in 2009. In March 2013 he got his PhD from the Cognitive Humanoids laboratory of the department of "Robotics Brain and Cognitive Sciences" in IIT, Genova. Since 2014 he has been a PostDoc at LAAS-CNRS in Toulouse, working on inverse-dynamics control with HRP-2.