An improved energy stability margin for walking machines subject to dynamic effects

Elena Garcia a1c1 and Pablo Gonzalez de Santos a1
a1 Instituto de Automatica Industrial, La Poveda, 28500 Madrid (Spain) E-mail:

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garcia e   [Google Scholar] 
santos pg   [Google Scholar] 


Several static and dynamic stability criteria have been defined in the course of walking-robot history. Nevertheless, previous work on the classification of stability criteria for statically stable walking machines (having at least four legs) reveals that there is no stability margin that accurately predicts robot stability when inertial and manipulation effects are significant. In such cases, every momentum-based stability margin fails. The use of an unsuitable stability criterion yields unavoidable errors in the control of walking robots. Moreover, inertial and manipulation effects usually appear in the motion of these robots when they are used for services or industrial applications. A new stability margin that accurately measures robot stability considering dynamic effects arising during motion is proposed in this paper. The new stability margin is proven to be the only exact stability margin when robot dynamics and manipulation forces exist. Numerical comparison has been conducted to support the margin's suitability. Stability-level curves are also presented on the basis of a suitable stability margin to control the trajectory of the center of gravity during the support phase.

(Received April 26 2004)

Key Words: Walking robot; Stability margin; Static stability; Dynamic stability; Stability-level curves.

c1 Corresponding author