Disney Research



Robots with kinematic loops are known to have superior mechanical performance. However, due to these loops, their modeling and control is challenging, and prevents a more widespread use. In this paper, we describe a versatile Inverse Kinematics (IK) formulation for the retargeting of expressive motions onto mechanical systems with loops. We support the precise control of the position and orientation of several end-effectors, and the Center of Mass (CoM) of slowly walking robots. Our formulation safeguards against a disassembly when IK targets are moved outside the workspace of the robot, and we introduce a regularizer that smoothly circumvents kinematic singularities where velocities go to infinity. With several validation examples and three physical robots, we demonstrate the versatility and efficacy of our IK on overactuated systems with loops, and for the retargeting of an expressive motion onto a bipedal robot.

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We thank (alphabetically) Andre´ane d’Arcy-Lepage, Alfredo Ayala, Kyle Cesare, Michael Hopkins, Scott LaValley, Tony Martin, Tanner Rinke and Krishna Tamminana for insightful discussions, and Maurizio Nitti for the artistic input. The technical formulation proposed in the paper was developed in collaboration with Stelian Coros.
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