Online planning for autonomous running jumps over obstacles in high-speed quadrupeds

Hae Won Park, Patrick M. Wensing, Sangbae Kim

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This paper presents a new framework for the generation of high-speed running jumps to clear terrain obstacles in quadrupedal robots. Our methods enable the quadruped to autonomously jump over obstacles up to 40 cm in height within a single control framework. Specifically, we propose new control system components, layered on top of a low-level running controller, which actively modify the approach and select stance force profiles as required to clear a sensed obstacle. The approach controller enables the quadruped to end in a preferable state relative to the obstacle just before the jump. This multi-step gait planning is formulated as a multiple-horizon model predictive control problem and solved at each step through quadratic programming. Ground reaction force profiles to execute the running jump are selected through constrained nonlinear optimization on a simplified model of the robot that possesses polynomial dynamics. Exploiting the simplified structure of these dynamics, the presented method greatly accelerates the computation of otherwise costly function and constraint evaluations that are required during optimization. With these considerations, the new algorithms allow for online planning that is critical for reliable response to unexpected situations. Experimental results, for a stand-alone quadruped with on-board power and computation, show the viability of this approach, and represent important steps towards broader dynamic maneuverability in experimental machines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRobotics
Subtitle of host publicationScience and Systems XI, RSS 2015
EditorsJonas Buchli, David Hsu, Lydia E. Kavraki
PublisherMIT Press Journals
ISBN (Electronic)9780992374716
StatePublished - 2015
Event2015 Robotics: Science and Systems Conference, RSS 2015 - Rome, Italy
Duration: Jul 13 2015Jul 17 2015

Publication series

NameRobotics: Science and Systems
ISSN (Electronic)2330-765X


Other2015 Robotics: Science and Systems Conference, RSS 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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