Extended Evolutionary Fast Learn-to-Walk Approach for Four-Legged Robots

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Journal Article
Journal of Bionic Engineering, 2007, December 30, 2007, 4 (4), pp. 255 - 264
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Robot locomotion is an active research area. In this paper we focus on the locomotion of quadruped robots. An effective walking gait of quadruped robots is mainly concerned with two key aspects, namely speed and stability. The large search space of potential parameter settings for leg joints means that hand tuning is not feasible in general. As a result walking parameters are typically determined using machine learning techniques. A major shortcoming of using machine learning techniques is the significant wear and tear of robots since many parameter combinations need to be evaluated before an optimal solution is found. This paper proposes a direct walking gait learning approach, which is specifically designed to reduce wear and tear of robot motors, joints and other hardware. In essence we provide an effective learning mechanism that leads to a solution in a faster convergence time than previous algorithms. The results demonstrate that the new learning algorithm obtains a faster convergence to the best solutions in a short run. This approach is significant in obtaining faster walking gaits which will be useful for a wide range of applications where speed and stability are important. Future work will extend our methods so that the faster convergence algorithm can be applied to a two legged humanoid and lead to less wear and tear whilst still developing a fast and stable gait.
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