From Bipedal Walking to Quadrupedal Locomotion: Full-Body Dynamics Decomposition for Rapid Gait Generation
This paper systematically decomposes a quadrupedal robot into bipeds to rapidly generate walking gaits and then recomposes these gaits to obtain quadrupedal locomotion. We begin by decomposing the full-order, nonlinear and hybrid dynamics of a three-dimensional quadrupedal robot, including its continuous and discrete dynamics, into two bipedal systems that are subject to external forces. Using the hybrid zero dynamics (HZD) framework, gaits for these bipedal robots can be rapidly generated (on the order of seconds) along with corresponding controllers. The decomposition is achieved in such a way that the bipedal walking gaits and controllers can be composed to yield dynamic walking gaits for the original quadrupedal robot --- the result is the rapid generation of dynamic quadruped gaits utilizing the full-order dynamics. This methodology is demonstrated through the rapid generation (3.96 seconds on average) of four stepping-in-place gaits and one diagonally symmetric ambling gait at 0.35 m/s on a quadrupedal robot --- the Vision 60, with 36 state variables and 12 control inputs --- both in simulation and through outdoor experiments. This suggested a new approach for fast quadrupedal trajectory planning using full-body dynamics, without the need for empirical model simplification, wherein methods from dynamic bipedal walking can be directly applied to quadrupeds.