Real-time pattern generation among obstacles for biped robots

Arne Christoph Hildebrandt, Daniel Wahrmann, Robert Wittmann, Daniel Rixen, Thomas Buschmann

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

18 Scopus citations


In this paper we present a step-planner embedded in a framework which enables a humanoid robot to navigate among obstacles, exploiting its overall capacities. The system allows the robot to react to changes of user input or changes in a dynamic environment in real-time while walking at reasonable speeds. The proposed method relies neither on external sensors nor on color coding or textured surfaces. The key idea is to use a fast collision model based on swept-sphere-volumes (SSVs) for real-time generation of collision-free footsteps and whole-body trajectories. Using a SSV-based 3D approximation in all control modules enables the robot to avoid collisions with itself and the environment. Obstacles are detected with an on-board RGB-D sensor while the robot navigates through an environment which is not known in advance. A step-planner reacts to high-level user commands like desired velocity and direction or changes in the environment within less than a step. Instead of investigating only the footholds an articulated 3D approximation of the lower leg and the foot is considered to find feasible and optimal footstep locations. Additionally, it provides an initial solution for the swing-foot movement. Finally, collision-free swing-foot trajectories are created in real-time in the feedback control layer using all the foot's degrees of freedom. We validated this approach in experiments with our robot Lola.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIROS Hamburg 2015 - Conference Digest
Subtitle of host publicationIEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781479999941
StatePublished - 11 Dec 2015
EventIEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS 2015 - Hamburg, Germany
Duration: 28 Sep 20152 Oct 2015

Publication series

NameIEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems
ISSN (Print)2153-0858
ISSN (Electronic)2153-0866


ConferenceIEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS 2015


  • Collision avoidance
  • Legged locomotion
  • Real-time systems
  • Robot sensing systems
  • Trajectory


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