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Published on Jul 30, 2012
This video demonstrates a quadrupedal robot that can automatically adapt its gait to, and climb, staircases of diﬀerent conﬁgurations. This is accomplished by endowing the robot with a parameterized gait: First, a gait plan is synthesized that allows the robot to climb a stair of known dimensions. Second, the robot approaches a previously unseen stair and perceives its height and width by using an onboard vision system. Third, the synthesized gait plan is parameterized by the perceived estimates of height and width of the stair. Fourth, the robot executes the parameterized gait to climb the staircase; this thereby eliminates the need for a complex control system to achieve the same purpose. Whereas quadruped robots have previously demonstrated stair climbing, to the best of our knowledge, none have so far been capable of climbing stairs of variable height while simultaneously carrying all the needed perception, processing, and power modules on-board. Our work is one of the ﬁrst successful attempts toward the above goal. Results with the robot climbing a variety of stair conﬁgurations demonstrate the eﬀectiveness of our approach.
A conference paper based on this work published in International Conference on Climbing and Walking Robots (CLAWAR), 2012 received the Best Paper Finalist Award in the bio-robotics category (http://robotics.umd.edu/news/news_sto...).