Skaterbots: Optimization-based Design and Motion Synthesis for Robotic Creatures with Legs and Wheels

Moritz Geilinger, Roi Poranne, Ruta Desai, Bernhard Thomaszewski and Stelian Coros
Conference Paper, Proceedings of ACM SIGGRAPH, Vol. 37, August, 2018

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We present a computation-driven approach to design optimization and motion synthesis for robotic creatures that locomote using arbitrary arrangements of legs and wheels. Through an intuitive interface, designers first create unique robots by combining different types of servomotors, 3D printable connectors, wheels and feet in a mix-and-match manner. With the resulting robot as input, a novel trajectory optimization formulation generates walking, rolling, gliding and skating motions. These motions emerge naturally based on the components used to design each individual robot. We exploit the particular structure of our formulation and make targeted simplifications to significantly accelerate the underlying numerical solver without compromising quality. This allows designers to interactively choreograph stable, physically-valid motions that are agile and compelling. We furthermore develop a suite of user-guided, semi automatic, and fully-automatic optimization tools that enable motion-aware edits of the robot’s physical structure. We demonstrate the efficacy of our design methodology by creating a diverse array of hybrid legged/wheeled mobile robots which we validate using physics simulation and through fabricated prototypes.

@conference{Moritz Geilinger-2018-107743,
author = {Moritz Geilinger and Roi Poranne and Ruta Desai and Bernhard Thomaszewski and Stelian Coros},
title = {Skaterbots: Optimization-based Design and Motion Synthesis for Robotic Creatures with Legs and Wheels},
booktitle = {Proceedings of ACM SIGGRAPH},
year = {2018},
month = {August},
editor = {ACM Transactions on Graphics (TOG)},
volume = {37},
publisher = {ACM},
keywords = {Optimization, Automatic design, Computer graphics, Legged robots, Computational design tools},
} 2018-09-27T10:16:28-04:00