Toward the Control of a Multi-Jointed, Monoped Runner

We propose a new family of controllers for multi-jointed planar monoped runners, based on approximate but accurate models of the stance phase dynamics of a two degree of freedom “SLIP” leg. Unlike previous approaches, the new scheme gives control over all parameters of the system including the hopping height, forward speed and duty cycle. The control laws are “deadbeat” in nature, derived by computing the inverse of an approximate return map and corrected by integral compensation. We use the expressions obtained in this way to control the original SLIP leg as well as radically different, more realistic four degree of freedom legs. In each case, the performance of the deadbeat scheme in controlling forward running velocity is compared to a modified Raibert control strategy, whose experimental stability properties have been analyzed carefully in the low degree of freedom setting.