Simultaneous Contact and Motion Planning for Robust Multi-Legged Locomotion via Mixed-Integer Convex Optimization by Bernardo Aceituno, C. Mastalli, H. Dai, M. Focchi, A. Radulescu, D. G. Caldwell, J. Cappelletto, J. C. Grieco, G. Fern\'andez, and C. Semini.
Traditional motion planning approaches for multi-legged locomotion divide the problem into several stages, such as contact search and trajectory generation. However, reasoning about contacts and motions simultaneously is crucial for the generation of complex whole-body behaviors. Currently, coupling theses problems has required either the assumption of a fixed gait sequence and flat terrain condition, or non-convex optimization with intractable computation time. In this paper, we propose a mixed-integer convex formulation to plan simultaneously contact locations, gait transitions and motion, in a computationally efficient fashion. In contrast to previous works, our approach is not limited to flat terrain nor to a pre-specified gait sequence. Instead, we incorporate the friction cone stability margin, approximate the robot's torque limits, and plan the gait using mixed-integer convex constraints. We experimentally validated our approach on the HyQ robot by traversing different challenging terrains, where non-convexity and flat terrain assumptions might lead to sub-optimal or unstable plans. Our method increases the motion generality while keeping a low computation time.
Under review. Comments welcome.