Multiple Contact Planning for Minimizing Damage of Humanoid Falls
This paper introduces a new planning algorithm to minimize the damage of humanoid falls by utilizing multiple contact points. Given an unstable initial state of the robot, our approach plans for the optimal sequence of contact points such that the initial momentum is dissipated with minimal impacts on the robot. Instead of switching among a collection of individual control strategies, we propose a general algorithm which plans for appropriate responses to a wide variety of falls, from a single step to recover a gentle nudge, to a rolling motion to break a high-speed fall. Our algorithm transforms the falling problem into a sequence of inverted pendulum problems and use dynamic programming to solve the optimization efficiently. The planning algorithm is validated in physics simulation and experimentally tested on a BioloidGP humanoid.