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N. G. Tsagarakis, ... , A. Settimi, ... - WALK-MAN: A High Performance Humanoid Platform for Realistic Environments.

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In this work we present WALK-MAN a humanoid platform which has been developed to
operate in realistic unstructured environment and demonstrate new skills including powerful
manipulation, robust balanced locomotion, high strength capabilities and physical sturdi-
ness. To enable these capabilities, WALK-MAN design and actuation are based on the most
recent advancements including innovative design optimization features that consider the se-
lection of kinematic structure and the placement of the actuators with the body structure
to maximize the robot performance. Physical robustness is ensured with the integration
of elastic transmission, proprioceptive sensing and control, and impact absorbing covers.
WALK-MAN hardware was designed and built in 11 months and the prototype of the robot
was ready 4 months before DARPA Robotics Challenge Finals. The motion generation
of WALK-MAN is based on the unified motion generation framework of Whole-body lo-
comotion and manipulation (termed loco-manipulation). WALK-MAN is able to execute
loco-manipulation behaviours synthesized by combining different primitives defining the be-
haviour of the centre of gravity, of the hands, legs and head, the body attitude and posture,

and the constrained body parts such as joint limits and contacts. The motion generation

framework including the specific motion modules and software architecture are discussed in

detail. A rich perception system allows the robot to perceive and generate 3D representa-
tions of the environment as well as detect contacts and sense physical interaction force and
moments. The operator station which pilots can use to control the robot provides a rich pilot
interface with different control modes and a number of tele-operated or semi-autonomous
command features. The capability of the robot and the performance of the individual mo-
tion control and perception modules were validated during the DARPA Robotics Challenge
in which the robot was able to demonstrate

Journal of Field Robotics, JFR 2016. Wiley Blackwell.