Walking on gravel with soft soles using linear inverted pendulum tracking and reaction force distribution
Soft soles absorb impacts and cast ground unevenness during locomotion on rough terrains. However, they introduce passive degrees of freedom (deformations under the feet) that complexify the tasks of state estimation and overall robot stabilization. We address this problem by developing a control loop that stabilizes humanoid robots when walking with soft soles on flat and uneven terrain. Our closed-loop controller minimizes the errors on the center of mass (COM) and the zero moment point (ZMP) with an admittance control of the feet based on a simple deformation estimator. We demonstrate its effectiveness in real experiments on the HRP-4 humanoid.