Living room roaming by Upkie¶
Here comes Upkie! A homemade wheeled biped robot that can balance, crouch, turn around, and more. It is designed to be 100% makeable at home, using only tools and components that can be ordered online (like mjbots actuators), and open source software that is maintained on GitHub. Moving away from big expensive robots to light things (that can bump, fall on or be lifted by us with no harm) is a great way to revisit past design decisions and explore alternatives. Also, it's fun 😉
Humanoid stair climbing in an aircraft factory¶
In February 2019, our team showed how a humanoid robot could navigate between workplaces at the Airbus Saint-Nazaire factory. The demo included localization in the factory (used to position the robot in front of the staircase), stair climbing and walking by linear inverted pendulum control to a designated area inside of a plane fuselage under construction. Controllers based on whole-body admittance control can work quite reliably (the demo was repeated five times), while being cheaper to maintain and deploy than torque-control pipelines. The summary video of the demonstration can be viewed on the publisher's website.
Below is a preliminary test we ran in September 2018, in the lab, on a wooden staircase. HRP-4's 2010 batteries and onboard computer were not powerful enough for stair climbing, so we operated it with two cables: one to a power supply, the other to a laptop running the walking controller over UDP.