Inertial parameter identification in robotics: A survey

Quentin Leboutet, Julien Roux, Alexandre Janot, Julio Rogelio Guadarrama-Olvera, Gordon Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


This work aims at reviewing, analyzing and comparing a range of state-of-the-art approaches to inertial parameter identification in the context of robotics. We introduce “BIRDy (Bench-mark for Identification of Robot Dynamics)”, an open-source Matlab toolbox, allowing a systematic and formal performance assessment of the considered identification algorithms on either simulated or real serial robot manipulators. Seventeen of the most widely used approaches found in the scientific literature are implemented and compared to each other, namely: the Inverse Dynamic Identification Model with Ordinary, Weighted, Iteratively Reweighted and Total Least-Squares (IDIM-OLS,-WLS,-IRLS,-TLS); the Instrumental Variables method (IDIM-IV), the Maximum Likelihood (ML) method; the Direct and Inverse Dynamic Identification Model approach (DIDIM); the Closed-Loop Output Error (CLOE) method; the Closed-Loop Input Error (CLIE) method; the Direct Dynamic Identification Model with Nonlinear Kalman Filtering (DDIM-NKF), the Adaline Neural Network (AdaNN), the Hopfield-Tank Recurrent Neural Network (HTRNN) and eventually a set of Physically Consistent (PC-) methods allowing the enforcement of parameter physicality using Semi-Definite Program-ming, namely the PC-IDIM-OLS,-WLS,-IRLS, PC-IDIM-IV, and PC-DIDIM. BIRDy is robot-agnostic and features a complete inertial parameter identification pipeline, from the generation of symbolic kinematic and dynamic models to the identification process itself. This includes functionalities for excitation trajectory computation as well as the collection and pre-processing of experiment data. In this work, the proposed methods are first evaluated in simulation, following a Monte Carlo scheme on models of the 6-DoF TX40 and RV2SQ industrial manipulators, before being tested on the real robot platforms. The robustness, precision, computational efficiency and context of application the different methods are investigated and discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4303
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 May 2021


  • Dynamic parameters identification
  • Performance evaluation and benchmarking


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