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Title:
FOOTSTEP CONTACT DETECTION
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2021/025710
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A method (300) of footstep contact detection includes receiving joint dynamics (!34JD) for a swing leg (l20sw) of the robot (100) where the swing leg performs a swing phase of a gait of the robot. The method also includes receiving odometry (192) defining an estimation of a pose of the robot and determining whether an unexpected torque on the swing leg corresponds to an impact (202) on the swing leg. When the unexpected torque corresponds to the impact, the method further includes determining whether the impact is indicative of a touchdown of the swing leg on a ground surface (12) based on the odometry and the joint dynamics. When the impact is not indicative of the touchdown of the swing leg, the method includes classifying a cause of the impact based on the odometry of the robot and the joint dynamics of the swing leg.

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Inventors:
WHITMAN ERIC (US)
KHRIPIN ALEX (US)
Application Number:
PCT/US2019/051535
Publication Date:
February 11, 2021
Filing Date:
September 17, 2019
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
BOSTON DYNAMICS INC (US)
International Classes:
B62D57/032; B25J9/16; B25J13/08
Foreign References:
Other References:
MARTIN GÖRNER: "Locomotion and Pose Estimation in Compliant, Torque-Controlled Hexapedal Robots", 3 May 2017 (2017-05-03), XP055685376, Retrieved from the Internet [retrieved on 20200414]
WINKLER ALEXANDER ET AL: "Path planning with force-based foothold adaptation and virtual model control for torque controlled quadruped robots", 2014 IEEE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON ROBOTICS AND AUTOMATION (ICRA), IEEE, 31 May 2014 (2014-05-31), pages 6476 - 6482, XP032650971, DOI: 10.1109/ICRA.2014.6907815
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KRUEGER, Brett, A. (US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:

1. A method (300) comprising: receiving, at data processing hardware (142) of a robot (100), joint dynamics (134JD) for a swing leg (120sw) of the robot (100), the swing leg (120sw) performing a swing phase of a gait of the robot (100); receiving, at the data processing hardware (142), odometry (192) defining an estimation of a pose of the robot (100) relative to a world reference frame; determining, by the data processing hardware (142), whether an unexpected torque on the swing leg (120sw) corresponds to an impact (202) on the swing leg (120sw); and when the unexpected torque on the swing leg (120sw) corresponds to the impact

(202): determining, by the data processing hardware (142), whether the impact (202) is indicative of a touchdown of the swing leg (120sw) on a ground surface (12) about the robot (100) based on the odometry (192) of the robot (100) and the joint dynamics (134JD) of the swing leg (120sw); and when the impact (202) is not indicative of the touchdown of the swing leg (120sw), classifying, by the data processing hardware (142), a cause of the impact (202) based on the odometry (192) of the robot (100) and the joint dynamics (134JD) of the swing leg (120sw).

2. The method (300) of claim 1, further comprising generating, by the data processing hardware (142), a response (204) for the swing leg (120sw) of the robot (100) based on the classified cause of the impact (202).

3. The method (300) of any of claims 1 or 2, further comprising, when the impact (202) is indicative of the touchdown of the swing leg (120sw), changing, by the data processing hardware (142), a classification of the swing leg (120sw) to a stance leg (120ST).

4. The method (300) of any of claims 1-3, further comprising, elevating the swing leg (120sw) as a response (204) to the respective impact (202) when the cause of the impact (202) is classified as a trip.

5. The method (300) of any of claims 1-4, wherein classifying the cause of the impact (202) comprises: determining that a percent completion of the swing phase for the swing leg (120sw) of the robot (100) satisfies a swing phase threshold based on the joint dynamics (134JD) of the swing leg (120sw), the swing phase threshold indicating that the swing leg (120sw) is early in the swing phase; and classifying the cause of the impact (202) on the swing leg (120sw) as a liftoff scuffing, wherein the swing leg (120sw) continues performing the swing phase of the gait responsive to classifying the cause of the impact (202) on the swing leg (120sw) as the liftoff scuffing.

6. The method (300) of any of claims 1-5, wherein classifying the cause of the impact (202) comprises: determining that a hip joint of the swing leg (120sw) exceeds a pre-determined motion limit based on the joint dynamics (134JD) of the swing leg (120sw), the joint dynamics (134JD) comprising an abduction-adduction component of the hip joint relative to the ground surface (12) and a flexion-extension component of the hip joint relative to the ground surface (12), the abduction-adduction component comprising the pre determined motion limit as a function of the flexion-extension component; and classifying the cause of the impact (202) on the swing leg (120sw) as the swing leg (120sw) contacting a body (110) of the robot (100), wherein the swing leg (120sw) continues performing the swing phase of the gait responsive to classifying the cause of the impact (202) on the swing leg (120sw) as the swing leg (120sw) contacts the body (110) of the robot (100).

7. The method (300) of any of claims 1-6, wherein classifying the cause of the impact (202) comprises: determining that a vector distance between a first closest point of the swing leg (120sw) to a contralateral leg (120CL) and a second closest point of the contralateral leg (120CL) to the swing leg (120sw) indicates the swing leg (120sw) crossed the contralateral leg (120CL); determining that a distal end (124) of the swing leg (120sw) crossed a respective distal end (124) of the contralateral leg (120CL); determining that a first knee joint of the swing leg (120sw) crossed a second knee joint of the contralateral leg (120CL); classifying the condition causing the respective impact (202) for the swing leg (120sw) of the robot (100) as the s swing leg (120sw) crossed the contralateral leg (120CL) of the robot (100); and moving the swing leg (120sw) to uncross with the contralateral leg (120CL) of the robot (100).

8. The method (300) of any of claims 1-7, wherein classifying the condition for the leg (120) of the robot (100) corresponding to the respective impact (202) further comprises: determining that the swing leg (120sw) is positioned near a contralateral leg (120CL) of the robot (100); determining that the torque corresponding to the respective impact (202) results from joint dynamics (134JD) predominantly from a lateral component of a hip joint of the swing leg (120sw); classifying the condition causing the respective impact (202) for the swing leg (120sw) of the robot (100) as uncrossed contralateral leg (120CL) impact (202); and moving the swing leg (120sw) away from a sagittal plane of the robot (100).

9. The method (300) of any of claims 1-8, wherein classifying the condition for the leg (120) of the robot (100) corresponding to the respective impact (202) further comprises: determining that a knee of the swing leg (120sw) is moving backwards during the swing phase; determining that the joint dynamics (134JD) resulting in the unexpected torque corresponding to the respective impact (202) comprise a flexion-extension torque about a hip joint of the swing leg (120sw)that is greater than both a knee torque of the swing leg (120sw) and an adduction-abduction torque about a hip joint of the swing leg (120sw); classifying the condition causing the respective impact (202) for the swing leg (120sw) of the robot (100) as the knee of the swing leg (120sw) contacting terrain behind a body (110) of the robot (100); and shifting the knee of the swing leg (120sw) forward relative to the body (110) of the robot (100).

10. The method (300) of any of claims 1-9, wherein classifying the condition for the leg (120) of the robot (100) corresponding to the respective impact (202) further comprises: determining that a knee of the swing leg (120sw) is adjacent to a perceived ground surface (12), the knee moving forward relative to a body (110) of the robot (100), the perceived ground surface (12) defined by sensor (132) data about the robot (100); determining that the knee of the swing leg (120sw) is closer to the perceived ground surface (12) than a distal end (124) of the swing leg (120sw); determining that the unexpected torque corresponding to the respective impact (202) occurs at a hip joint of the swing leg (120sw); classifying the condition causing the respective impact (202) for the swing leg (120sw) of the robot (100) as the knee of the swing leg (120sw) contacting terrain underneath the body (110) of the robot (100); and continuing movement of the swing leg (120sw) without response (204) to the knee of the swing leg (120sw) contacting terrain underneath the body (110) of the robot (100).

11. The method (300) of any of claims 1-10, wherein determining whether the unexpected torque on the swing leg (120sw) of the robot (100) corresponds to the impact (202) on the swing leg (120sw) comprises determining whether the unexpected torque satisfies an impact (202) detection threshold, the impact (202) detection threshold comprising a magnitude of torque that corresponds to a known impact (202).

12. The method (300) of any of claims 1-11, further comprising determining, by the data processing hardware (142), the unexpected torque on the swing leg (120sw) based on a difference between: a measured torque measured by joint torque sensors (132) about the robot (100); a first expected torque representing a respective torque caused by gravity; and a second expected torque representing a corresponding torque to accelerate the swing leg (120sw) of the robot (100).

13. The method (300) of any of claims 1-12, further comprising, when a joint of the swing leg (120sw) of the robot (100) is adjacent to a limit on a range of motion for the joint, determining, by the data processing hardware (142), that the unexpected torque fails to indicate the impact (202) on the swing leg (120sw) during the swing phase.

14. The method (300) of any of claims 1-13, wherein determining whether the unexpected torque on the swing leg (120sw) corresponds to the impact (202) on the swing leg (120sw) comprises determining that the unexpected torque on the swing leg (120sw) corresponds to an impact (202) torque, the impact (202) torque opposing motion of a joint of the swing leg (120sw).

15. The method (300) of any of claim 1-14, wherein the joint dynamics (134JD) of the swing leg (120sw) correspond to joint dynamics (134JD) of a knee joint of the swing leg (120sw) and joint dynamics (134JD) of a hip joint of the swing leg (120sw).

16. The method (300) of claim 15, wherein the joint dynamics (134JD) of the hip joint comprise an abduction-adduction torque abducting or adducting the swing leg (120sw) and a flexion-extension torque flexing or extending the swing leg (120sw).

17. A robot (100) comprising: a body (110); two or more legs (120) coupled to the body (110) and configured to traverse an environment (10), the two or more legs (120) comprising a swing leg (120sw); and a control system (170) in communication with the two or more legs (120), the control system (170) comprising data processing hardware (142) and memory hardware (144) in communication with the data processing hardware (142), the memory hardware (144) storing instructions that when executed on the data processing hardware (142) cause the data processing hardware (142) to perform operations comprising: receiving joint dynamics (134JD) for a swing leg (120sw) of the robot (100), the swing leg (120sw) performing a swing phase of a gait of the robot (100); receiving odometry (192) defining an estimation of a pose of the robot (100) relative to a world reference frame; determining whether an unexpected torque on the swing leg (120sw) corresponds to an impact (202) on the swing leg (120sw); and when the unexpected torque on the swing leg (120sw) corresponds to the impact (202): determining whether the impact (202) is indicative of a touchdown of the swing leg (120sw) on a ground surface (12) about the robot (100) based on the odometry (192) of the robot (100) and the joint dynamics (134JD) of the swing leg (120sw); and when the impact (202) is not indicative of the touchdown of the swing leg (120sw), classifying a cause of the impact (202) based on the odometry (192) of the robot (100) and the joint dynamics (134JD) of the swing leg (120sw).

18. The robot (100) of claim 17, wherein the operations further comprise generating a response (204) for the swing leg (120sw) of the robot (100) based on the classified cause of the impact (202).

19. The robot (100) of any of claims 17 or 18, wherein the operations further comprise, when the impact (202) is indicative of the touchdown of the swing leg (120sw), changing, by the data processing hardware (142), a classification of the swing leg (120sw) to a stance leg (120ST).

20. The robot (100) of any of claims 17-19, wherein the operations further comprise elevating the swing leg (120sw) as a response (204) to the respective impact (202) when the cause of the impact (202) is classified as a trip.

21. The robot (100) of any of claims 17-20, wherein classifying the cause of the impact (202) comprises: determining that a percent completion of the swing phase for the swing leg (120sw) of the robot (100) satisfies a swing phase threshold based on the joint dynamics (134JD) of the swing leg (120sw), the swing phase threshold indicating that the swing leg (120sw) is early in the swing phase; and classifying the cause of the impact (202) on the swing leg (120sw) as a liftoff scuffing, wherein the swing leg (120sw) continues performing the swing phase of the gait responsive to classifying the cause of the impact (202) on the swing leg (120sw) as the liftoff scuffing.

22. The robot (100) of any of claims 17-21, wherein classifying the cause of the impact (202) comprises: determining that a hip joint of the swing leg (120sw) exceeds a pre-determined motion limit based on the joint dynamics (134JD) of the swing leg (120sw), the joint dynamics (134JD) comprising an abduction-adduction component of the hip joint relative to the ground surface (12) and a flexion-extension component of the hip joint relative to the ground surface (12), the abduction-adduction component comprising the pre determined motion limit as a function of the flexion-extension component; and classifying the cause of the impact (202) on the swing leg (120sw) as the swing leg (120sw) contacting a body (110) of the robot (100), wherein the swing leg (120sw) continues performing the swing phase of the gait responsive to classifying the cause of the impact (202) on the swing leg (120sw) as the swing leg (120sw) contacts the body (110) of the robot (100).

23. The robot (100) of any of claims 17-22, wherein classifying the cause of the impact (202) comprises: determining that a vector distance between a first closest point of the swing leg (120sw) to a contralateral leg (120CL) and a second closest point of the contralateral leg (120CL) to the swing leg (120sw) indicates the swing leg (120sw) crossed the contralateral leg (120CL); determining that a distal end (124) of the swing leg (120sw) crossed a respective distal end (124) of the contralateral leg (120CL); determining that a first knee joint of the swing leg (120sw) crossed a second knee joint of the contralateral leg (120CL); classifying the condition causing the respective impact (202) for the swing leg (120sw) of the robot (100) as the s swing leg (120sw) crossed the contralateral leg (120CL) of the robot (100); and moving the swing leg (120sw) to uncross with the contralateral leg (120CL) of the robot (100).

24. The robot (100) of any of claims 17-23, wherein classifying the condition for the leg (120) of the robot (100) corresponding to the respective impact (202) further comprises: determining that the swing leg (120sw) is positioned near a contralateral leg (120CL) of the robot (100); determining that the torque corresponding to the respective impact (202) results from joint dynamics (134JD) predominantly from a lateral component of a hip joint of the swing leg (120sw); classifying the condition causing the respective impact (202) for the swing leg (120sw) of the robot (100) as uncrossed contralateral leg (120CL) impact (202); and moving the swing leg (120sw) away from a sagittal plane of the robot (100).

25. The robot (100) of any of claims 17-24, wherein classifying the condition for the leg (120) of the robot (100) corresponding to the respective impact (202) further comprises: determining that a knee of the swing leg (120sw) is moving backwards during the swing phase; determining that the joint dynamics (134JD) resulting in the unexpected torque corresponding to the respective impact (202) comprise a flexion-extension torque about a hip joint of the swing leg (120sw)that is greater than both a knee torque of the swing leg (120sw) and an adduction-abduction torque about a hip joint of the swing leg (120sw); classifying the condition causing the respective impact (202) for the swing leg (120sw) of the robot (100) as the knee of the swing leg (120sw) contacting terrain behind a body (110) of the robot (100); and shifting the knee of the swing leg (120sw) forward relative to the body (110) of the robot (100).

26. The robot (100) of any of claims 17-25, wherein classifying the condition for the leg (120) of the robot (100) corresponding to the respective impact (202) further comprises: determining that a knee of the swing leg (120sw) is adjacent to a perceived ground surface (12), the knee moving forward relative to a body (110) of the robot (100), the perceived ground surface (12) defined by sensor (132) data about the robot (100); determining that the knee of the swing leg (120sw) is closer to the perceived ground surface (12) than a distal end (124) of the swing leg (120sw); determining that the unexpected torque corresponding to the respective impact (202) occurs at a hip joint of the swing leg (120sw); classifying the condition causing the respective impact (202) for the swing leg (120sw) of the robot (100) as the knee of the swing leg (120sw) contacting terrain underneath the body (110) of the robot (100); and continuing movement of the swing leg (120sw) without response (204) to the knee of the swing leg (120sw) contacting terrain underneath the body (110) of the robot (100).

27. The robot (100) of any of claims 17-26, wherein determining whether the unexpected torque on the swing leg (120sw) of the robot (100) corresponds to the impact (202) on the swing leg (120sw) comprises determining whether the unexpected torque satisfies an impact (202) detection threshold, the impact (202) detection threshold comprising a magnitude of torque that corresponds to a known impact (202).

28. The robot (100) of any of claims 17-27, wherein the operations further comprise determining the unexpected torque on the swing leg (120sw) based on a difference between: a measured torque measured by joint torque sensors (132) about the robot (100), a first expected torque representing a respective torque caused by gravity, and a second expected torque representing a corresponding torque to accelerate the swing leg (120sw) of the robot (100).

29. The robot (100) of any of claims 17-28, wherein the operations further comprise, when a joint of the swing leg (120sw) of the robot (100) is adjacent to a limit on a range of motion for the joint, determining that the unexpected torque fails to indicate the impact (202) on the swing leg (120sw) during the swing phase.

30. The robot (100) of any of claims 17-29, wherein determining whether the unexpected torque on the swing leg (120sw) corresponds to the impact (202) on the swing leg (120sw) comprises determining that the unexpected torque on the swing leg (120sw) corresponds to an impact (202) torque, the impact (202) torque opposing motion of a joint of the swing leg (120sw).

31. The robot (100) of any of claims 17-30, wherein the joint dynamics (134JD) of the swing leg (120sw) correspond to joint dynamics (134JD) of a knee joint of the swing leg (120sw) and joint dynamics (134JD) of a hip joint of the swing leg (120sw).

32. The robot (100) of claim 31, wherein the joint dynamics (134JD) of the hip joint comprise an abduction-adduction torque abducting or adducting the swing leg (120sw) and a flexion-extension torque flexing or extending the swing leg (120sw).

Description:
Footstep Contact Detection

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0001] This disclosure relates to footstep contact detection.

BACKGROUND

[0002] A robot is generally defined as a reprogrammable and multifunctional manipulator designed to move material, parts, tools, or specialized devices through variable programmed motions for a performance of tasks. Robots may be manipulators that are physically anchored (e.g., industrial robotic arms), mobile robots that move throughout an environment (e.g., using legs, wheels, or traction based mechanisms), or some combination of a manipulator and a mobile robot. Robots are utilized in a variety of industries including, for example, manufacturing, transportation, hazardous environments, exploration, and healthcare. As such, the ability of robots to traverse environments with obstacles or features requiring various means of coordinated leg movement provides additional benefits to such industries.

SUMMARY

[0003] One aspect of the disclosure provides a method for footstep contact detection. The method includes receiving, at data processing hardware of a robot, joint dynamics for a swing leg of the robot. The swing leg performs a swing phase of a gait of the robot.

The method also includes receiving, at the data processing hardware, odometry defining an estimation of a pose of the robot relative to a world reference frame. The method further includes determining, by the data processing hardware, whether an unexpected torque on the swing leg corresponds to an impact on the swing leg. When the unexpected torque on the swing leg corresponds to the impact, the method includes determining, by the data processing hardware, whether the impact is indicative of a touchdown of the swing leg on a ground surface about the robot based on the odometry of the robot and the joint dynamics of the swing leg. When the impact is not indicative of the touchdown of the swing leg, the method includes classifying, by the data processing hardware, a cause of the impact based on the odometry of the robot and the joint dynamics of the swing leg. [0004] Implementations of the disclosure may include one or more of the following optional features. In some implementations, the method includes generating, by the data processing hardware, a response for the swing leg of the robot based on the classified cause of the impact. When the impact is indicative of the touchdown of the swing leg, the method may include changing, by the data processing hardware, a classification of the swing leg to a stance leg. The method may include elevating the swing leg as a response to the respective impact when the cause of the impact is classified as a trip.

[0005] In some examples, classifying the cause of the impact includes determining that a percent completion of the swing phase for the swing leg of the robot satisfies a swing phase threshold based on the joint dynamics of the swing leg, the swing phase threshold indicating that the swing leg is early in the swing phase. In this example, classifying the cause of the impact also includes classifying the cause of the impact on the swing leg as a liftoff scuffing. Here, the swing leg continues performing the swing phase of the gait responsive to classifying the cause of the impact on the swing leg as the liftoff scuffing.

[0006] In some configurations, classifying the cause of the impact includes determining that a hip joint of the swing leg exceeds a pre-determined motion limit based on the joint dynamics of the swing leg. Here, the joint dynamics include an abduction- adduction component of the hip joint relative to the ground surface and a flexion- extension component of the hip joint relative to the ground surface and the abduction- adduction component includes the pre-determined motion limit as a function of the flexion-extension component. In this configuration, classifying the cause of the impact also includes classifying the cause of the impact on the swing leg as the swing leg contacts a body of the robot. Here, the swing leg continues performing the swing phase of the gait responsive to classifying the cause of the impact on the swing leg as the swing leg contacts the body of the robot.

[0007] In some implementations, classifying the cause of the impact includes determining that a vector distance between a first closest point of the swing leg to a contralateral leg and a second closest point of the contralateral leg to the swing leg indicates the swing leg crossed the contralateral leg. Here, classifying the cause of the impact also includes determining that a distal end of the swing leg crossed a respective distal end of the contralateral leg, determining that a first knee joint of the swing leg crossed a second knee joint of the contralateral leg, classifying the condition causing the respective impact for the swing leg of the robot as the swing leg crossed the contralateral leg of the robot, and moving the swing leg to uncross with the contralateral leg of the robot.

[0008] In some examples, classifying the condition for the leg of the robot corresponding to the respective impact includes determining that the swing leg is positioned near a contralateral leg of the robot, determining that the torque corresponding to the respective impact results from joint dynamics predominantly from a lateral component of a hip joint of the swing leg, classifying the condition causing the respective impact for the swing leg of the robot as uncrossed contralateral leg impact, and moving the swing leg away from a sagittal plane of the robot.

[0009] In some configurations, classifying the condition for the leg of the robot corresponding to the respective impact includes determining that a knee of the swing leg is moving backwards during the swing phase, determining that the joint dynamics resulting in the unexpected torque corresponding to the respective impact comprise a flexion-extension torque about a hip joint of the swing leg that is greater than both a knee torque of the swing leg and an adduction-abduction torque about a hip joint of the swing leg, classifying the condition causing the respective impact for the swing leg of the robot as the knee of the swing leg contacting terrain behind a body of the robot, and shifting the knee of the swing leg forward relative to the body of the robot.

[0010] In some implementations, classifying the condition for the leg of the robot corresponding to the respective impact includes determining that a knee of the swing leg is adjacent to a perceived ground surface, the knee moving forward relative to a body of the robot, the perceived ground surface defined by sensor data about the robot. In this implementation, classifying the condition for the leg of the robot corresponding to the respective impact also includes determining that the knee of the swing leg is closer to the perceived ground surface than a distal end of the swing leg, determining that the unexpected torque corresponding to the respective impact occurs at a hip joint of the swing leg, classifying the condition causing the respective impact for the swing leg of the robot as the knee of the swing leg contacting terrain underneath the body of the robot, and continuing movement of the swing leg without response to the knee of the swing leg contacting terrain underneath the body of the robot.

[0011] In some examples, determining whether the unexpected torque on the swing leg of the robot corresponds to the impact on the swing leg includes determining whether the unexpected torque satisfies an impact detection threshold, the impact detection threshold including a magnitude of torque that corresponds to a known impact. In other examples, determining, by the data processing hardware, the unexpected torque on the swing leg is based on a difference between a measured torque measured by joint torque sensors about the robot, a first expected torque representing a respective torque caused by gravity, and a second expected torque representing a corresponding torque to accelerate the swing leg of the robot.

[0012] In some configurations, when a joint of the swing leg of the robot is adjacent to a limit on a range of motion for the joint, the method includes determining, by the data processing hardware, that the unexpected torque fails to indicate the impact on the swing leg during the swing phase. Determining whether the unexpected torque on the swing leg corresponds to the impact on the swing leg may include determining that the unexpected torque on the swing leg corresponds to an impact torque, the impact torque opposing motion of a joint of the swing leg.

[0013] In some implementations, the joint dynamics of the swing leg correspond to joint dynamics of a knee joint of the swing leg and joint dynamics of a hip joint of the swing leg. The joint dynamics of the hip joint may include an abduction-adduction torque abducting or adducting the swing leg and a flexion-extension torque flexing or extending the swing leg.

[0014] Another aspect of the disclosure provides a robot configured to perform footstep contact detection. The robot includes a body and two or more legs coupled to the body and configured to traverse an environment. The two or more legs include a swing leg. The robot also includes a control system in communication with the two or more legs where the control system includes data processing hardware and memory hardware in communication with the data processing hardware. The memory hardware stores instructions that when executed on the data processing hardware cause the data processing hardware to perform operations. The operations include receiving joint dynamics for the swing leg of the robot. The swing leg performs a swing phase of a gait of the robot. The operations also include receiving odometry defining an estimation of a pose of the robot relative to a world reference frame. The operations further include determining whether an unexpected torque on the swing leg corresponds to an impact on the swing leg. When the unexpected torque on the swing leg corresponds to the impact, the operations include determining whether the impact is indicative of a touchdown of the swing leg on a ground surface about the robot based on the odometry of the robot and the joint dynamics of the swing leg. When the impact is not indicative of the touchdown of the swing leg, the operations include classifying a cause of the impact based on the odometry of the robot and the joint dynamics of the swing leg.

[0015] Implementations of the disclosure may include one or more of the following optional features. In some implementations, the operations include generating a response for the swing leg of the robot based on the classified cause of the impact. When the impact is indicative of the touchdown of the swing leg, the operations may include changing a classification of the swing leg to a stance leg. The operations may include elevating the swing leg as a response to the respective impact when the cause of the impact is classified as a trip.

[0016] In some examples, classifying the cause of the impact includes determining that a percent completion of the swing phase for the swing leg of the robot satisfies a swing phase threshold based on the joint dynamics of the swing leg. Here, the swing phase threshold indicates that the swing leg is early in the swing phase. In this example, classifying the cause of the impact also includes classifying the cause of the impact on the swing leg as a liftoff scuffing. Here, the swing leg continues performing the swing phase of the gait responsive to classifying the cause of the impact on the swing leg as the liftoff scuffing.

[0017] In some configurations, classifying the cause of the impact includes determining that a hip joint of the swing leg exceeds a pre-determined motion limit based on the joint dynamics of the swing leg. Here, the joint dynamics include an abduction- adduction component of the hip joint relative to the ground surface and a flexion- extension component of the hip joint relative to the ground surface and the abduction- adduction component includes the pre-determined motion limit as a function of the flexion-extension component. In this configuration, classifying the cause of the impact also includes classifying the cause of the impact on the swing leg as the swing leg contacts a body of the robot. Here, the swing leg continues performing the swing phase of the gait responsive to classifying the cause of the impact on the swing leg as the swing leg contacts the body of the robot.

[0018] In some implementations, classifying the cause of the impact includes determining that a vector distance between a first closest point of the swing leg to a contralateral leg and a second closest point of the contralateral leg to the swing leg indicates the swing leg crossed the contralateral leg. Here, classifying the cause of the impact also includes determining that a distal end of the swing leg crossed a respective distal end of the contralateral leg, determining that a first knee joint of the swing leg crossed a second knee joint of the contralateral leg, classifying the condition causing the respective impact for the swing leg of the robot as the swing leg crossed the contralateral leg of the robot, and moving the swing leg to uncross with the contralateral leg of the robot.

[0019] In some examples, classifying the condition for the leg of the robot corresponding to the respective impact includes determining that the swing leg is positioned near a contralateral leg of the robot, determining that the torque corresponding to the respective impact results from joint dynamics predominantly from a lateral component of a hip joint of the swing leg, classifying the condition causing the respective impact for the swing leg of the robot as uncrossed contralateral leg impact, and moving the swing leg away from a sagittal plane of the robot.

[0020] In some configurations, classifying the condition for the leg of the robot corresponding to the respective impact includes determining that a knee of the swing leg is moving backwards during the swing phase, determining that the joint dynamics resulting in the unexpected torque corresponding to the respective impact comprise a flexion-extension torque about a hip joint of the swing leg that is greater than both a knee torque of the swing leg and an adduction-abduction torque about a hip joint of the swing leg, classifying the condition causing the respective impact for the swing leg of the robot as the knee of the swing leg contacting terrain behind a body of the robot, and shifting the knee of the swing leg forward relative to the body of the robot. [0021] In some implementations, classifying the condition for the leg of the robot corresponding to the respective impact includes determining that a knee of the swing leg is adjacent to a perceived ground surface, the knee moving forward relative to a body of the robot, the perceived ground surface defined by sensor data about the robot. In this implementation, classifying the condition for the leg of the robot corresponding to the respective impact also includes determining that the knee of the swing leg is closer to the perceived ground surface than a distal end of the swing leg, determining that the unexpected torque corresponding to the respective impact occurs at a hip joint of the swing leg, classifying the condition causing the respective impact for the swing leg of the robot as the knee of the swing leg contacting terrain underneath the body of the robot, and continuing movement of the swing leg without response to the knee of the swing leg contacting terrain underneath the body of the robot.

[0022] In some examples, determining whether the unexpected torque on the swing leg of the robot corresponds to the impact on the swing leg includes determining whether the unexpected torque satisfies an impact detection threshold where the impact detection threshold includes a magnitude of torque that corresponds to a known impact. In other examples, determining the unexpected torque on the swing leg is based on a difference between a measured torque measured by joint torque sensors about the robot, a first expected torque representing a respective torque caused by gravity, and a second expected torque representing a corresponding torque to accelerate the swing leg of the robot.

[0023] In some configurations, when a joint of the swing leg of the robot is adjacent to a limit on a range of motion for the joint, the operations include determining that the unexpected torque fails to indicate the impact on the swing leg during the swing phase. Determining whether the unexpected torque on the swing leg corresponds to the impact on the swing leg may include determining that the unexpected torque on the swing leg corresponds to an impact torque, the impact torque opposing motion of a joint of the swing leg.

[0024] In some implementations, the joint dynamics of the swing leg correspond to joint dynamics of a knee joint of the swing leg and joint dynamics of a hip joint of the swing leg. The joint dynamics of the hip joint may include an abduction-adduction torque abducting or adducting the swing leg and a flexion-extension torque flexing or extending the swing leg.

[0025] The details of one or more implementations of the disclosure are set forth in the accompanying drawings and the description below. Other aspects, features, and advantages will be apparent from the description and drawings, and from the claims.

DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[0026] FIG. 1 A is a schematic view of an example robot within an environment.

[0027] FIG. IB is a schematic view of example systems for the robot of FIG. 1A.

[0028] FIG. 2A is a schematic view of an example impact detection system for the robot of FIG. 1A.

[0029] FIG. 2B-2E are schematic views of example swing legs during impact detection by the impact detection system for the robot of FIG. 1 A.

[0030] FIGS. 2G-2L are perspective views of example impact conditions experienced by the robot of FIG. 1 A. [0031] FIG. 2F is a schematic view of an example impact detection system for the robot of FIG. 1A.

[0032] FIG. 3 is example arrangement of operations for a robot to detect impacts in environment about the robot.

[0033] FIG. 4 is a schematic view of an example computing device that may be used to implement the systems and methods described herein.

[0034] Like reference symbols in the various drawings indicate like elements.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0035] As a robot maneuvers about an environment, various system of the robot communicate with the robot to indicate where to step (e.g., foot placement for a leg), how to move legs of the robot (e.g., swing trajectories), how to avoid obstacles, how to maintain balance, etc. One of the more critical aspects of robot movement is understanding the robot’s relationship with its environment. For instance, one aspect is understanding how a structure of the robot interacts with itself or objects in the environment (e.g., a traction surface of the environment). During movement, these interactions depend not only on the environment, but also on characteristics of the robot (e.g., speed, gait, location, etc.). To understand these relationships for the robot, the robot uses various techniques for impact detection and/or impact reaction.

[0036] With a legged-robot, it may be important to accurately detect when a leg of the robot has contacted a traction surface (e.g., a ground surface). For instance, when a leg of the robot contacts the ground surface (i.e., touches down), but the robot does not detect the leg’s touchdown, the robot will continue moving this leg downward, essentially attempting to push the leg through a ground surface. Here, when continuing to move the leg downward, the robot experiences a normal force from the ground surface acting on the leg. Problematically, this normal force may disrupt the balance of the robot and, in some situations, cause the robot to turn over (e.g., flip over). When the robot detects touchdown late, it affects lateral stability for the robot because the robot experiences a larger than expected impact. In other words, the robot does not anticipate ground impact when it actually occurs. Therefore, the robot may not account for, or properly counterbalance, such an impact.

[0037] Besides accurately detecting touchdown, the robot also employs impact detection to detect trips. A trip generally refers to a disruption in a gait of the robot. In other words, the robot may have a planned movement trajectory (e.g., based on a gait controller), but trip due to contact with some object, element of the environment, or itself. For both trips and traction surface contact (e.g., touchdown of a leg), it may be advantageous to not only detect such conditions, but also to minimize a time it takes to detect and/or to respond to such a condition. Often with trips, the more quickly a robot detects a trip, the less force (or rotation) the robot will experience from the trip. Additionally, there may be a proportional relationship between how fast a trip is detected and a likelihood that a robot will overcome the trip condition (e.g., stabilize or continue with motion). In other words, quickly detecting a trip may allow systems of the robot to quickly react and/or respond to a trip. Therefore, trip detection aims to minimize disruptions to the robot during movement about the environment.

[0038] Referring to FIG. 1 A, the robot 100 includes a body 110 with locomotion based structures such as legs 120a-d coupled to the body 110 that enable the robot 100 to move about the environment 10. In some examples, each leg 120 is an articulable structure such that one or more joints J permit members 122 of the leg 120 to move. For instance, each leg 120 includes a hip joint JH coupling an upper member 122, 122u of the leg 120 to the body 110 and a knee joint JK coupling the upper member 122u of the leg 120 to a lower member 122L of the leg 120. For impact detection, the hip joint JH may be further broken down into abduction-adduction rotation of the hip joint JH designated as “JH X ” for occurring in a frontal plane of the robot 100 (i.e., a X-Z plane extending in directions of a x-direction axis A x and the z-direction axis Az) and a flexsion-extension rotation of the hip joint JH designated as “JHy” for occurring in a sagittal plane of the robot 100 (i.e., a Y-Z plane extending in directions of a y-direction axis AY and the z- direction axis Az). Although FIG. 1 A depicts a quadruped robot with four legs 120a-d, the robot 100 may include any number of legs or locomotive based structures (e.g., a biped or humanoid robot with two legs) that provide a means to traverse the terrain within the environment 10.

[0039] In order to traverse the terrain, each leg 120 has a distal end 124 that contacts a surface of the terrain (i.e., a traction surface). In other words, the distal end 124 of the leg 120 is the end of the leg 120 used by the robot 100 to pivot, plant, or generally provide traction during movement of the robot 100. For example, the distal end 124 of a leg 120 corresponds to a foot of the robot 100. In some examples, though not shown, the distal end 124 of the leg 120 includes an ankle joint JA such that the distal end 124 is articulable with respect to the lower member 122L of the leg 120.

[0040] The robot 100 has a vertical gravitational axis (e.g., shown as a Z-direction axis Az) along a direction of gravity, and a center of mass CM, which is a point where the weighted relative position of the distributed mass of the robot 100 sums to zero. The robot 100 further has a pose P based on the CM relative to the vertical gravitational axis Az (i.e., the fixed reference frame with respect to gravity) to define a particular attitude or stance assumed by the robot 100. The attitude of the robot 100 can be defined by an orientation or an angular position of the robot 100 in space. Movement by the legs 120 relative to the body 110 alters the pose P of the robot 100 (i.e., the combination of the position of the CM of the robot and the attitude or orientation of the robot 100). Here, a height generally refers to a distance along the z-direction. The sagittal plane of the robot 100 corresponds to the Y-Z plane extending in directions of a y-direction axis AY and the z-direction axis Az. In other words, the sagittal plane bisects the robot 100 into a left and right side. Generally perpendicular to the sagittal plane, a ground plane (also referred to as a transverse plane) spans the X-Y plane by extending in directions of the x-direction axis Ax and the y-direction axis AY. The ground plane refers to a ground surface 12 where distal ends 124 of the legs 120 of the robot 100 may generate traction to help the robot 100 move about the environment 10. Another anatomical plane of the robot 100 is the frontal plane that extends across the body 110 of the robot 100 (e.g., from a left side of the robot 100 with a first leg 120a to a right side of the robot 100 with a second leg 120b). The frontal plane spans the X-Z plane by extending in directions of the x- direction axis Ax and the z-direction axis A z.

[0041] When a legged-robot moves about the environment 10, the legs 120 of the robot undergo a gait cycle. Generally, a gait cycle begins when a leg 120 touches down or contacts a ground surface 12 and ends when that same leg 120 once again contacts the ground surface 12. The gait cycle may predominantly be divided into two phases, a swing phase and a stance phase. During the swing phase, a leg 120 performs (i) lift-off from the ground surface 12 (also sometimes referred to as toe-off and the transition between the stance phase and swing phase), (ii) flexion at a knee joint JK of the leg 120, (iii) extension of the knee joint JK of the leg 120, and (iv) touchdown back to the ground surface 12. Here, a leg 120 in the swing phase is referred to as a swing leg 120sw. As the swing leg 120sw proceeds through the movement of the swing phase 120sw, another leg 120 performs the stance phase. The stance phase refers to a period of time where a distal end 124 (e.g., a foot) of the leg 120 is on the ground surface 12. During the stance phase a leg 120 performs (i) initial ground surface contact which triggers a transition from the swing phase to the stance phase, (ii) loading response where the leg 120 dampens ground surface contact, (iii) mid-stance support for when the contralateral leg (i.e., the swing leg 120sw) lifts-off and swings to a balanced position (about halfway through the swing phase), and (iv) terminal-stance support from when the robot’s COM is over the leg 120 until the contralateral leg 120 touches down to the ground surface 12. Here, a leg 120 in the stance phase is referred to as a stance leg 120ST.

[0042] In order to maneuver about the environment 10, the robot 100 includes a sensor system 130 with one or more sensors 132, 132a-n (e.g., shown as a first sensor 132, 132a and a second sensor 132, 132b). The sensors 132 may include visi on/image sensors, inertial sensors (e.g., an inertial measurement unit (IMU)), force sensors, and/or kinematic sensors. Some examples of sensors 132 include a camera such as a stereo camera, a scanning light-detection and ranging (LIDAR) sensor, or a scanning laser- detection and ranging (LADAR) sensor. In some examples, the sensor 132 has a corresponding field(s) of view F v defining a sensing range or region corresponding to the sensor 132. For instance, FIG. 1 A depicts a field of a view Fv for the robot 100. Each sensor 132 may be pivotable and/or rotatable such that the sensor 132 may, for example, change the field of view Fv about one or more axis (e.g., an x-axis, a y-axis, or a z-axis in relation to a ground plane).

[0043] In some implementations, the sensor system 130 includes sensor(s) 132 coupled to a joint J. In some examples, these sensors 132 couple to a motor that operates a joint J of the robot 100 (e.g., sensors 132, 132a-b). Here, these sensors 132 generate joint dynamics 134, 134JD in the form of joint-based sensor data 134. Joint dynamics 134JD collected as joint-based sensor data 134 may include joint angles (e.g., an upper member 122u relative to a lower member 122L), joint speed (e.g., joint angular velocity or joint angular acceleration), and/or joint torques experienced at a joint J (also referred to as joint forces). Here, joint-based sensor data 134 generated by one or more sensors 132 may be raw sensor data, data that is further processed to form different types of joint dynamics 134JD, or some combination of both. For instance, a sensor 132 measures joint position (or a position of member(s) 122 coupled at a joint J) and systems of the robot 100 perform further processing to derive velocity and/or acceleration from the positional data. In other examples, a sensor 132 is configured to measure velocity and/or acceleration directly.

[0044] When surveying a field of view Fv with a sensor 132, the sensor system 130 generates sensor data 134 (also referred to as image data) corresponding to the field of view Fv. In some examples, the sensor data 134 is image data that corresponds to a three-dimensional volumetric point cloud generated by a three-dimensional volumetric image sensor 132. Additionally or alternatively, when the robot 100 is maneuvering about the environment 10, the sensor system 130 gathers pose data for the robot 100 that includes inertial measurement data (e.g., measured by an IMU). In some examples, the pose data includes kinematic data and/or orientation data about the robot 100, for instance, kinematic data and/or orientation data about joints J or other portions of a leg 120 of the robot 100. With the sensor data 134, a perception system 200 of the robot 100 may generate maps 182 for the terrain about the environment 10.

[0045] While the robot 100 maneuvers about the environment 10, the sensor system 130 gathers sensor data 134 relating to the terrain of the environment 10 and/or structure of the robot 100 (e.g., joint dynamics and/or odometry of the robot 100). For instance, FIG. 1A depicts the sensor system 130 gathering sensor data 134 about a room as the environment 10 of the robot 100. As the sensor system 130 gathers sensor data 134, a computing system 140 is configured to store, to process, and/or to communicate the sensor data 134 to various systems of the robot 100 (e.g., the control system 170, the perception system 180, the odometry system 190, and/or the impact detector 200). In order to perform computing tasks related to the sensor data 134, the computing system 140 of the robot 100 includes data processing hardware 142 and memory hardware 144. The data processing hardware 142 is configured to execute instructions stored in the memory hardware 144 to perform computing tasks related to activities (e.g., movement and/or movement based activities) for the robot 100. Generally speaking, the computing system 140 refers to one or more locations of data processing hardware 142 and/or memory hardware 144.

[0046] In some examples, the computing system 140 is a local system located on the robot 100. When located on the robot 100, the computing system 140 may be centralized (i.e., in a single location/area on the robot 100, for example, the body 110 of the robot 100), decentralized (i.e., located at various locations about the robot 100), or a hybrid combination of both (e.g., where a majority of centralized hardware and a minority of decentralized hardware). To illustrate some differences, a decentralized computing system 140 may allow processing to occur at an activity location (e.g., at motor that moves a joint of a leg 120) while a centralized computing system 140 may allow for a central processing hub that communicates to systems located at various positions on the robot 100 (e.g., communicate to the motor that moves the joint of the leg 120).

[0047] Additionally or alternatively, the computing system 140 includes computing resources that are located remotely from the robot 100. For instance, the computing system 140 communicates via a network 150 with a remote system 160 (e.g., a remote server or a cloud-based environment). Much like the computing system 140, the remote system 160 includes remote computing resources such as remote data processing hardware 162 and remote memory hardware 164. Here, sensor data 134 or other processed data (e.g., data processing locally by the computing system 140) may be stored in the remote system 160 and may be accessible to the computing system 140. In some examples, the computing system 140 is configured to utilize the remote resources 162,

164 as extensions of the computing resources 142, 144 such that resources of the computing system 140 may reside on resources of the remote system 160.

[0048] In some implementations, as shown in FIGS. 1 A and IB, the robot 100 includes a control system 170 and a perception system 180. The perception system 180 is configured to receive the sensor data 134 from the sensor system 130 and to process the sensor data 134 into maps 182. With the maps 182 generated by the perception system 180, the perception system 180 may communicate the maps 182 to the control system 170 in order perform controlled actions for the robot 100, such as moving the robot 100 about the environment 10. In some examples, by having the perception system 180 separate from, yet in communication with the control system 170, processing for the control system 170 may focus on controlling the robot 100 while the processing for the perception system 180 focuses on interpreting the sensor data 134 gathered by the sensor system 130. For instance, these systems 170, 180 execute their processing in parallel to ensure accurate, fluid movement of the robot 100 in an environment 10.

[0049] In some examples, the control system 170 includes at least one controller 172, a path generator 174, a step locator 176, and a body planner 178. The control system 170 may be configured to communicate with at least one sensor system 130 and any other system of the robot 100 (e.g., the perception system 180, the odometry system 190, and/or the impact detector 200). The control system 170 performs operations and other functions using hardware 140. The controller 172 is configured to control movement of the robot 100 to traverse about the environment 10 based on input or feedback from the systems of the robot 100 (e.g., the control system 170, the perception system 180, the odometry system 190, and/or the impact detector 200). This may include movement between poses and/or behaviors of the robot 100. For example, the controller 172 controls different footstep patterns, leg patterns, body movement patterns, or vision system sensing patterns.

[0050] In some examples, the controller 172 includes a plurality of controllers 172 where each of the controllers 172 has a fixed cadence. A fixed cadence refers to a fixed timing for a step or swing phase of a leg 120. For example, the controller 172 instructs the robot 100 to move the legs 120 (e.g., take a step) at a particular frequency (e.g., step every 250 milliseconds, 350 milliseconds, etc.). With a plurality of controllers 172 where each controller 172 has a fixed cadence, the robot 100 can experience variable timing by switching between controllers 172. In some implementations, the robot 100 continuously switches/selects fixed cadence controllers 172 (e.g., re-selects a controller 170 every 3 milliseconds) as the robot 100 traverses the environment 10.

[0051] Referring to FIG. IB, the path generator 174 is configured to determine horizontal motion for the robot 100. For instance, the horizontal motion refers to translation (i.e., movement in the X-Y plane) and/or yaw (i.e., rotation about the Z- direction axis Az) of the robot 100. The path generator 174 determines obstacles within the environment 10 about the robot 100 based on the sensor data 134. The path generator 174 communicates the obstacles to the step locator 176 such that the step locator 176 may identify foot placements for legs 120 of the robot 100 (e.g., locations to place the distal ends 124 of the legs 120 of the robot 100). The step locator 176 generates the foot placements (i.e., locations where the robot 100 should step) using inputs from the perceptions system 180 (e.g., map(s) 182). The body planner 178, much like the step locator 176, receives inputs from the perceptions system 180 (e.g., map(s) 182).

Generally speaking, the body planner 178 is configured to adjust dynamics of the body 110 of the robot 100 (e.g., rotation, such as pitch or yaw and/or height of COM) to successfully move about the environment 10.

[0052] The perception system 180 is a system of the robot 100 that helps the robot 100 to move more precisely in a terrain with various obstacles. As the sensors 132 collect sensor data 134 for the space about the robot 100 (i.e., the robot’s environment 10), the perception system 180 uses the sensor data 134 to form one or more maps 182 for the environment 10. Once the perception system 180 generates a map 182, the perception system 180 is also configured to add information to the map 182 (e.g., by projecting sensor data 134 on a preexisting map) and/or to remove information from the map 182.

[0053] Referring further to FIG. IB, the odometry system 190 is configured to measure where the robot 100 is located within a world reference frame (e.g., the environment 10) and how fast the robot 100 is moving in that world reference frame. In other words, the odometry system 190 generates odometry information 192 as one or more estimations (e.g., measurements) for a characteristic of the robot 100 relative to a world reference frame. In some examples, the odometry system 190 receives sensor data 134 from a sensor 132 such as an IMU (e.g., accelerometer(s) and/or gyro(s)). With the sensor data 134, the odometry system 190 may generate odometry information 192 based on an assumption that when a distal end 124 of a leg 120 is in contact with the ground surface 12 and not slipping, the distal end 124 is stationary. By combining this assumption with the sensor data 134, the odometry system 190 generates odometry information 192 regarding robot motion relative to the world reference frame (e.g., the environment 10). In other words, the odometry system 190 accounts for kinematics and inertial measurements to produce estimations about the robot 100 with respect to the world reference frame.

[0054] The impact detection system 200 of the robot 100 is configured to receive inputs from other systems of the robot 100 (e.g., the sensor system 130, the computing system 140, the remote system 160, the control system 170, the perception system 180, and/or the odometry system 190). By capitalizing on information from the other systems of the robot 100, the impact detection system 200 attempts to make an informed decision to identify an impact 202, classify the impact 202, and, in some instances, generate a response 204 to the impact 202 (e.g., invoke a trip response). In some examples, the impact detection system 200 receives joint dynamics 134JD as inputs. For example, the impact detection system 200 receives joint forces 134JD, 134 Da to enable the impact detection system 200 to detect when a distal end 124 (also referred to as a foot 124 of the robot 100) contacts the ground surface 12. In some examples, the impact detection system 200 receives joint angles 134JD, 134 ob to detect when the distal end 124 stops moving and/or a location of the distal end 124 relative to the ground surface 12 (e.g., as perceived by the robot 100). In some implementations, the impact detection system 200 receives angular velocities 134JD, 134JDC to detect a velocity of the distal end 124 (e.g., to detect whether the foot has stopped moving relative to the ground). Although FIG. 2 A depicts the impact detection system 200 receiving each of the joint forces Joint angles, and angular velocities 134 Da-c, some types of detection by the impact detection system 200 may use more or less inputs.

[0055] In some configurations, in addition to the joint dynamics 134JD, the impact detection system 200 receives odometry 192 of the robot 100. The odometry enables the impact detection system 200 to determine estimations for dynamics of the structure of the robot 100 by accounting for both kinematics of a world reference frame (e.g., the robot 100 with respect to the environment 10) and kinematics of a relative reference frame (e.g., the body 110 or legs 120 of the robot 100 with respect to the robot 100 itself). For example, a velocity of a foot 124 of the robot 100 is equal to a velocity of the body 110 in the world reference frame (e.g., as determined by the odometry system 190) plus a velocity of the foot 124 relative to the body 110 (e.g., as sensed by the sensor system 130).

[0056] Additionally or alternatively, the impact detection system 200 receives a map 182 from the perception system 180 (e.g., in addition to joint dynamics 134JD and/or odometry 192). In some examples, the impact detection system 200 accounts for failures of the perception system 180 to understand trip conditions or traction surface contact.

Yet in some implementations, maps 182 of the perception system 180 allow the impact detection system 200 to classify a type of trip. For example, it is more likely that the foot 124 touched down against the ground surface when a map 182 perceived the ground surface as near to the foot 124 than if the map 182 did not perceive the foot 124 in the vicinity of the ground surface 12.

[0057] Referring to FIG. 2A, the impact detection system 200 includes a detector 210. The detector 210 is configured to identify unexpected force(s) F (or torques T) on one or more legs 120 (e.g., feet) of the robot 100. When the impact detection system 200 identifies an unexpected force F (or torque T), the impact detection system 200 determines whether the unexpected force F corresponds to an impact 202. During movement, a swing leg 120sw typically generates a minimal amount of torque T. This minimal amount of torque T is generally predictable by inverse dynamics. In other words, based on inverse dynamics and gravity, there is an expected amount of torque T that acts on the swing leg 120sw. This expected amount of torque T is equal to a torque contributed by gravity (i.e., gravitational torque T ) in combination with a torque T that is expected in order to accelerate the leg 120 to achieve gait motion (i.e., torque from inverse dynamics TID). Because a majority of the torque T experienced by a swing leg 120sw is known, the detector 210 is configured to determine an unexpected torque T (also referred to as a compensated torque Tcomp). For example, Equation (1) below illustrates an equation that the detector 210 uses to determine the compensated torque Tcom.

Here, T measured is the torque measured from joint sensor(s) 132. In other words, the detector 210 is configured to receive and/or to determine a measured amount of torque Tmeasured acting on the swing leg 120sw based on sensor data 134 (e.g., from sensors 132 at joints J of the robot 100) from the sensor system 130. With the measured amount of torque Tmeasured and the expected torques T (i.e., the gravitational torque T g and the torque from inverse dynamics TID), the detector 210 determines the compensated torque Tcomp. Based on the compensated torque Tcomp, the detector 210 is configured to identify when the swing leg 120sw experiences an impact 202.

[0058] In some implementations, the detector 210 determines whether the torque T on the swing leg 120sw corresponds to an impact 202 on the swing leg 120sw by determining whether the compensated torque Tcomp satisfies an impact torque threshold Tth (e.g., the detector 210 determines that the compensated torque Tcomp exceeds a value set as the impact torque threshold Tth). Here, the impact torque threshold TTH is configured to represent how much noise the impact detection system 200 expects during impact detection. In other words, the detector 210 may be configured with an impact torque threshold TTH to ensure that the detector 210 generally does not falsely detect an impact 202 based on sensor noise. When the compensated torque Tcomp satisfies the impact torque threshold Tth, the detector 210 communicates that an impact 202 (or a potential impact 202) has occurred on the swing leg 120sw. Conversely, when the compensated torque Tcomp fails to satisfy the impact torque threshold Tth, the detector 210 continues monitoring the torque T on the swing leg 120sw. [0059] In some examples, the detector 210 monitors the torque T on each joint J of the swing leg 120sw. For instance, the detector 210 monitors the torque T at the knee joint JK, the abduction-adduction component of the hip joint JH X , and the flexion- extension component of the hip joint JHy. In some implementations, for each joint J, the detector 210 generates evidence 212 corresponding to a potential impact. Here, as shown in FIG. 2 A, the evidence 212 refers to an area under a curve representing the compensated torque TCOMP that is greater than the impact torque threshold TTH. For instance, the detector 210 generates the evidence 212 as the integral under the curve representing the compensated torque TCOMP, but above the impact torque threshold TTH. As shown in FIG. 2 A, to determine the evidence 212, the detector 210 integrates the absolute value of the compensated torque TCOMP.

[0060] When the detector 210 generates evidence 212, the detector 210 may be further configured to remove evidence 212 when the value of the compensated torque TCOMP indicates an impact 202 has not occurred. In some examples, the curve representing the compensated torque TCOMP will exceed the impact torque threshold TTH, but then drop to a value below the impact torque threshold TTH. When this drop below the impact torque threshold TTH occurs, the detector 210 removes the evidence 212 to reduce the likelihood that the impact detection system 200 identifies a false impact. Similarly, in some implementations, the value of the compensated torque TCOMP indicates an impact 202 has not occurred because the value of the compensated torque TCOMP changes signs (e.g., from positive to negative or vice versa). Here, the detector 210 clears any evidence 212 prior to the sign change because the impact detection system 200 is configured to identify an impact 202 as a having the same sign (e.g., based on the integral of the absolute value of the compensated torque TCOMP). Therefore, a change in sign indicates a potential false impact.

[0061] In some examples, the detector 210 determines that an impact 202 occurs on the swing leg 120sw when a sum of the evidence 212 for all joints J of a leg 120 satisfy an evidence threshold 212TH. Here, the evidence threshold 212TH refers to a required amount of evidence that the swing leg 120sw experiences overall across all joints J that indicates an impact 202. Although FIG. 2A depicts the detector 210 determining whether the sum of the evidence 212 for all joints J of a leg 120 satisfies an evidence threshold 212TH, other configurations of the detector 210 may perform this determination for less than all joints J of a leg 120 (e.g., for the knee joint JK and one component of the hip joint JH or both components of the hip joint JH without knee joint JK).

[0062] In some configurations, the evidence threshold 212TH depends on the swing phase. For instance, the impact detection system 200 is configured to have greater sensitivity when a touchdown of the swing leg 120sw is expected than when a touchdown of the swing leg 120swis not expected. Based on this, the evidence threshold 212TH may be scaled or modified based on a percent completion of the swing phase. Here, other systems of the robot 100 may communicate the percent completion of the swing phase to the impact detector system 200. For example, the control system 170 communicates the percent completion of the swing phase to the impact detection system 200 because the percent completion may be derived based on a controller 172 performing the gait cycle for the swing leg 120sw having a fixed cadence. In some examples, the impact detection system 200 is configured to determine the percent completion of the swing phase based on a current location of the swing leg 120sw(e.g., as determined by sensor data 134) and a controller 172 operating the swing leg 120sw.

[0063] Referring to FIG. 2B, in some implementations, the detector 210 is configured to perform further analysis on a potential impact or an impact 202. In other words, there may be circumstances where although the required evidence 212TH indicates an impact 202, the actual circumstances of the detected impact 202 may be analyzed to confirm whether the detected impact 202 is an actual impact. In some examples, such as FIG. 2B, the structure of a leg 120 of the robot 100 includes end stops 126 that restrict a range of motion of the leg 120. For instance, the range of motion is limited by an end stop 126 to prevent damage to the structure of the leg 120 or based on limitations of one or more motors that articulate the leg 120. When an end stop restricts 126 a range of motion of the leg 120, the joint sensors 132 of the leg 120 may experience a sudden measured torque caused by a force F exerted by the end stop 126. Even though this force F from the end stop 126 generates a correct sign for the torque T, the detector 210 is configured to ignore an impact 202 that occurs subsequent to when the detector 210 identifies the swing leg 120sw is near an end stop 126. [0064] Referring to FIGS. 2C-2E, the detector 210 may be configured to ensure that a torque T causing a potential impact 202 always opposes motion of the leg 120 (e.g., motion of a foot 124 of the swing leg 120sw). In other words, the impact detection system 200 does not classify a condition as an impact 202 when the condition results in a measured torque that speeds up an associated joint J of the leg 120 (e.g., speeds up the leg 120 itself). FIGS. 2C-2E illustrate conditions where the detector 210 determines whether a torque T corresponding to an impact 202 opposes motion of the leg 120 (e.g., shown as motion of the foot 124 of the leg 120). In each example, the foot 124 is moving in a direction of travel designated DT. Referring to FIG. 2C, the foot 124 is traveling to the left such that the detector 210 only considers a first torque T, Ti at the knee joint JK and not a second torque T, T2 at the knee joint JK because the second torque T2 contributes to the motion of the foot 124. In FIG. 2D, the direction of travel DT for the foot 124 is downward. Since a torque T in either direction may include opposing this downward motion, the detector 210 is configured to consider acting torque T in either direction (e.g., the first torque Ti or the second torque T2) when the potential torque contribution is unclear. In FIG. 2E, the direction of travel DT for the foot 124 is mostly downward, but with a directional component moving to the right. Here, the detector 210 may apply a weight to torques T in each direction such that the detector 210 requires a larger torque T in a direction that opposes the directional component of the foot 124 (e.g., the second torque T2) to ensure that the torque T corresponds to an impact 202 (or vice versa).

[0065] In some examples, the detector 210 identifies the velocity of the foot 124 and then determines whether a potential impact torque T increases or decreases the velocity of the foot 124. When the potential impact torque T contributes to an increase in the velocity of the foot 124, the detector 210 ignores this impact 202 (or potential impact).

On the other hand, when the potential impact torque T contributes to a decrease in the velocity of the foot 124, the detector 210 may permit this impact 202 to be detected as an actual impact (e.g., subject to other criteria of the detector 210).

[0066] Referring to FIGS. 2 A and 2F, when the detector 210 detects an impact 202, the detector 210 is configured to communicate that impact 202 to a classifier 220 of the impact detection system 200. The classifier 220 is configured to determine a condition of the impact 202. In other words, what type of impact 202 occurred or is occurring to the leg 120 of the robot 100 and, depending on the type of impact 202, generate a response 204. In some examples, the classifier 220 communicates the response 204 to the other systems of the robot 100 (e.g., the control system 170). When the control system 170 receives the response 204, a controller 172 of the control system 170 may generate an appropriate movement to overcome the impact 202 (e.g., stabilize the robot 100). In some examples, the classifier 220 is configured in a hierarchy such that the classifier 220 attempts to classify certain types of impacts 202 before other types of impacts 202 (e.g., touchdown contact before a trip condition).

[0067] In some examples, the classifier 220 utilizes characteristics of the distal end 124 (i.e., the foot 124) of the leg 120 that experiences the impact 202 to classify the impact 202. More particularly, the classifier 220 may use the position of the foot 124 in the world (e.g., derived from some combination of joint dynamics 134JD and odometry information 192), a velocity of the foot 124 in the world (e.g., derived from some combination of joint dynamics 134 JD and odometry information 192), and forces on the foot 124 in the world frame. Here, the forces on the foot 124 in the world frame may be derived in two different ways. In a first approach, the classifier 220 may determine the forces in the world frame by deriving the forces from joint torques T of the joint dynamics 134 JD based on Jacobian transformation. In a second approach, classifier 220 uses inverse dynamics to generate the force on the foot 124 in the world frame. In some examples, the classifier 220 determines the force on the foot 124 based on both the first approach and the second approach, but uses whichever approach generates a force on the foot 124 in the world frame closer to zero to perform classification. In some implementations, when classifying a type of impact 202, the classifier 220 associates an importance to the dynamics of the foot 124. For instance, the force on the foot 124 is the most important characteristic, followed by the velocity of the foot 124, and followed by the position of the foot 124 as the least important for classification purposes.

[0068] Referring to FIG. 2F, in some examples, the classifier 220 first determines whether the impact 202 corresponds to a touchdown of the swing leg 120sw. To classify the impact 202 as a touchdown, the classifier 220 generally determines whether a distal end 124 of the leg 120 experiences significant vertical forces (e.g., indicating a normal force from the ground surface 12) and/or whether the velocity of the distal end 124 is no longer moving downward even though the control system 170 is instructing the distal end 124 to move downward. Here, the classifier 220 may be configured with a vertical force threshold that indicates a significant magnitude of a vertical force (e.g., that risks destabilization of the robot 100). In other words, when the classifier 220 determines that a vertical force on the distal end 124 satisfies the vertical force threshold (e.g., exceeds a value set as the vertical force threshold), the classifier 220 classifies the impact 202 on the swing leg 120sw as a touchdown. In some implementations, the classifier 220 modifies the vertical force threshold based on certain circumstances. For instance, the classifier 220 modifies the vertical force threshold when the robot 100 (e.g., via the control system 170) is responding to a trip (e.g., the impact detection system 200 generated a response 204 to an impact 202). In another examples, the classifier 220 modifies the vertical force threshold based on the swing phase (e.g., a percent completion of the swing phase). To illustrate, the classifier 220 may modify the vertical force threshold when the classifier 220 is aware the swing leg 120sw is early in the swing phase (e.g., shortly after lift-off). Additionally or alternatively, when the classifier 220 identifies the impact 202 as a standard trip, but the robot 100 is unable to elevate the foot 124 as a response 204 to the standard trip, the classifier 220 classifies the impact 202 instead as a touchdown.

[0069] In some configurations, when the swing leg 120sw is near an end of completion for the swing phase, the classifier 220 classifies any new impact 202 as a touchdown. For example, when a percent completion of the swing phase is greater than or equal to 95% complete, the classifier 220 classifies an impact 202 as a touchdown. Here, this condition protects the robot 100 from risking destabilization by a sudden undetected touchdown or other issues that may result from late detection of touchdown. [0070] In some examples, the classifier 220 classifies the impact 202 as touchdown when the swing leg 120sw is late in the swing phase and a planned trajectory for the swing leg 120sw is moving downward toward the ground surface 12. For example, when a percent completion of the swing phase is about greater than or equal to 65% complete and the planned trajectory for the swing leg 120sw is moving downward toward the ground surface 12, the classifier 220 classifies an impact 202 as a touchdown. [0071] In these examples, where the swing leg 120sw is late in the swing phase and the planned trajectory for the swing leg 120sw is moving downward toward the ground surface 12, there may be additional criterial, but alternative criteria that the classifier 220 uses to classify an impact 202 as a touchdown. A first additional criteria may be that the force on the foot 124 is significantly large (e.g., satisfies the vertical force threshold or some version thereof). A second additional criterial may be that an impulse experienced by the foot 124 is quite large. For example, much like the vertical force threshold, the classifier 220 is configured with an impulse threshold that indicates an amount of force over time experienced by the foot 124 that indicates a touchdown (e.g., an impulse on the foot 124 exceeds the impulse threshold configured at the impact detection system 200).

A third additional criteria may be that a measured velocity of the foot 124 is not as downward (in the z-direction towards the ground surface 12) as intended (e.g., by the control system 170). For example, the change in position of the foot 124 is greater than a threshold velocity of the foot 124 (e.g., greater than -0.5 m/s) such that although the control system 170 intended the foot 124 to be moving downwards in the z-direction towards the ground surface 12, the foot 124 is actually moving in decreasing speed towards the ground surface 12.

[0072] Referring further to FIG. 2F, when the impact 202 does not correspond to a touchdown of the swing leg 120sw, the classifier 220 is configured to identify whether the impact 202 was caused by a special type of trip condition 222, 222SP. Some examples of special trip conditions 222SP include the following: when the thigh 122u of the leg 120 is on the body 110; when the foot 124 experiences liftoff scuffing; when the swing leg 120sw crosses a contralateral leg 120CL (FIGS. 2G and 2H); when the swing leg 120sw strikes the contralateral leg 120CL (FIG. 21); when the knee of the robot 100 is on terrain behind the robot 100 (FIG. 2J); and when the knee of the leg 120 is on terrain under the robot 100 (FIG. 2K). In some implementations, the classifier 220 identifies special trip condition 222SP based on joint dynamics 134JD and/or odometry information 192 of the robot 100. When the classifier 220 identifies a special type of trip condition 222SP, depending on the type of trip, the classifier 220 (i) may generate a response 204 to overcome the trip and/or to reduce the effects of the trip. When the classifier 220 determines that the impact 202 was not caused by a special type of trip condition 222SP, the classifier 220 classifies the impact 202 as caused by a standard trip condition 222, 222STD (e.g., shown in FIG. 2L). For a standard trip condition 222STD, the classifier 220 generates a response 204 to elevate the foot 124 that experienced the impact 202 (i.e., to increase the height of the foot 124 in the z-direction). FIG. 2L illustrates a standard trip condition 222STD for the robot 100.

[0073] In some configurations, when the classifier 220 determines that the impact 202 was not caused by a touchdown of the swing leg 120sw and the swing leg 120sw is early in the swing phase (e.g., less than 10% complete with the swing phase), the classifier 220 classifies the impact 202 as a liftoff scuffing. In some examples, the classifier 220 determines that a percent completion of the swing phase satisfies a swing phase threshold (e.g., is less than the swing phase threshold) that indicates that the swing leg 120sw is early in the swing phase. Here, a liftoff scuffing refers to when the swing leg 120sw contacts the ground surface as the swing leg 120sw lifts-off the ground surface 12 (e.g., the robot 100 stubs its foot 124 as it takes off). In this special trip condition 222SP, the swing leg 120sw will continue lifting off the ground surface 12 and thus clear the ground surface 12 that caused the impact 202. Therefore, the classifier 220 does not generate a response 204 based on this liftoff scuffing because the swing leg 120sw does not risk any resistance as a result of the impact 202.

[0074] In some configurations, the classifier 220 determines that a position of the thigh (i.e., upper member 122L of the leg 120) on the body 110 of the robot 100 caused the detected impact 202. Here, this special trip condition 222SP occurs when the joint dynamics 134JD indicate that the abduction-adduction component of the hip joint JH X exceeds a predetermined limit. Generally speaking, each component of the hip joint JH X,Z may be configured with a predetermined limit. For instance, the control system 170 or another system of the robot 100 may set the predetermined limits based on the dimensions of the robot 100 and/or a payload of the robot 100. In some examples, the abduction-adduction component of the hip joint JH X has a predetermined limit that is a function of the flexion-extension component of the hip joint JHy. In other words, when the abduction/adduction exceeds the predetermined limit for the abduction-adduction component of the hip joint JH X , the upper member 122u of the leg 120 risks collision with the body 110 of the robot 100. Much like the special trip condition 222SP of liftoff scuffing, the classifier 220 does not generate a response 204 based on this type of impact 202 and the swing leg 120sw continues performing the swing phase of the gait.

[0075] Referring to FIGS. 2G and 2H, in some examples, the classifier 220 determines that the swing leg 120sw (e.g., shown as a first leg 120a) crossed the contralateral leg 120CL (e.g., shown as a second leg 120b, 120ST) to cause the impact 202. Here, a contralateral leg 120CL refers to a relationship between two legs 120a-b such that the first leg 120a is opposite the sagittal plane (i.e., the Y-Z plane) from the second leg 120b. For instance, with a quadruped robot (as shown) the stance leg 120ST is generally a contralateral leg 120CL to the swing leg 120sw (and vice versa) to maintain balance for the robot 100 during movement. In some examples, the classifier 220 determines this type of special trip condition 222SP by determining whether the swing leg 120sw is near a contralateral leg 120CL based on kinematics of the robot 100. In these examples, determining whether the swing leg 120sw is near a contralateral leg 120CL may include determining a vector distance between a first closest point of the swing leg 120sw to the contralateral leg 120CL and a second closest point of the contralateral leg 120CL to the swing leg 120sw. Here, when the vector distance indicates the swing leg 120sw crossed the contralateral leg 120CL, the classifier 220 may additionally determine whether the feet 124a-b of each leg 120sw, 120CL are crossed and/or whether the knee joints JK, Jxa-b of each leg 120sw, 120CL are crossed. In some configurations, the classifier 220 is configured to determine that one or more of these conditions are true (e.g., one is true, two are true, or all three are true). In other words, the classifier 220 determines whether (i) the vector distance indicates the legs 120sw, 120CL are crossed, (ii) the position of the knee joints JK, Jxa-b indicates that the legs 120sw, 120CL are crossed, or (iii) the position of the feet 124a-b indicates that the legs 120sw, 120CL are crossed. When the swing leg 120sw crossing the contralateral leg 120CL results in an impact 202, the classifier 220 may generate a response 204 to uncross the legs 120sw, 120c. For instance, the classifier 220 moves the knee joint JK of the swing leg 120sw towards a vertical axis in the z-direction of the hip joint JH of the swing leg 120sw.

[0076] Referring to FIG. 21, in some implementations, the classifier 220 determines that the swing leg 120sw is near a contralateral leg 120CL, but not crossed over the contralateral leg 120CL (e.g., based on kinematics of the robot 100). Here, the classifier 220 may determine the swing leg 120sw contacted the contralateral leg 120CL causing the impact 202, but did not cross over the contralateral leg 120CL during, before, or shortly thereafter the impact 202. In some examples, the classifier 220 forms this determination by identifying (i) that the swing leg 120sw is not too late in the swing phase (e.g., less than 65% complete) and (ii) that the evidence 212, which the detector 210 used to determine the impact 202, was predominantly from the abduction-adduction component of the hip joint JHX. In other words, the torque of lateral rotation of the hip joint JHX was a greater contributor to the evidence 212 identifying the impact 202 than torques of the flexion-extension component of the hip joint JHy and the knee joint JK (e.g., each separately or combined together). When the swing leg 120sw collides with the contralateral leg 120CL causing the impact 202, the classifier 220 may generate a response 204 to separate the legs 120sw, 120CL (e.g., by moving one or more legs 120sw, 120CL away from each other in the frontal plane). In other words, swing leg 120swmay continue its originally planned motion within the sagittal plane while overriding the originally planned motion in the frontal plane (e.g., along the x-axis Ax) to separate from the stance leg 120ST.

[0077] Referring to FIGS. 2K-2L, in some configurations, the classifier 220 determines that a collision between the leg 120 (e.g., the swing leg 120sw) and terrain either behind (e.g., shown in FIG. 2J) or beneath (e.g., shown in FIG. 2K) the body 110 of the robot 100 causes the impact 202. In the case of a special trip condition 222SP where the impact 202 occurs based on contact between a knee joint JK of the swing leg 120sw and the terrain behind the robot 100, the classifier 220 determines (i) that the knee joint JK of the swing leg 120swis moving backwards away from the body 110 (e.g., in the y-direction) and (ii) that the evidence 212 indicates that the flexion-extension component of the hip joint JHy for the swing leg 120sw is the largest contributor of joint torque. In some examples, the flexion-extension component of the hip joint JHy for the swing leg 120sw is larger than the joint torque T contribution of both the knee joint JK and the abduction-adduction component of the hip joint JH X (e.g., separately or in combination).

In some implementations, the classifier 220 uses the kinematics of the swing leg 120sw to determine that the knee joint JK of the swing leg 120swis moving backwards away from the body 110. When the classifier 220 classifies the impact 202 as a collision between the leg 120 and the terrain behind the robot 100, the classifier 220 generates a response 204 to move bring the knee joint JK forward (e.g., towards the CM of the robot 100 along the y-direction).

[0078] Referring to FIG. 2L, here, the classifier 220 determines that a collision between the leg 120 and the terrain beneath the body 110 of the robot 100 caused the impact 202. To determine this special trip condition 222SP, the classifier 220 determines that the knee joint JK is moving forward (e.g., forward in the y-direction with respect to the hip joint JH of the swing leg 120sw) and that the evidence 212 producing the impact 202 occurred in joints J other than the knee joint JK. Additionally or alternatively, the classifier 220 may use one or more maps 182 of the perception system 180 to determine that the knee joint JK of the swing leg 120sw is closer to the ground surface 12 than the foot 124 of the swing leg 120sw. The map 182 may also indicate that the knee joint JK of the swing leg 120sw was recently perceived near the ground surface 12. In this special trip condition 222SP, the classifier 220 is configured to not generate a response 204 because the forward motion of the swing leg 120sw by continuing the swing phase of the gait will carry the knee joint JKpast the object causing the impact 202.

[0079] In some examples, the impact detection system 200 may be advantageous when the perception system 180 is either off or not functioning well (e.g., issues with sensor(s) 132). When this occurs, the impact detection system 200 may be used as a primary system for detection within the environment 10. Conversely, when the perception system 180 is working properly, the impact detection system 200 may offer a robust auxiliary system for detection, especially in instances when the perception system 180 makes a mistake or encounters a temporary issue.

[0080] FIG. 3 is an arrangement of operations to perform a method 300 of footstep contact detection. At operation 302, the method 300 receives joint dynamics 134JD for a swing leg 120sw of a robot 100. Here, the swing leg 120sw performs a swing phase of a gait of the robot 100. At operation 304, the method 300 receives odometry 192 that defines an estimation of characteristics (e.g., a pose) of the robot 100 relative to a world reference frame. At operation 306, the method 300 determines whether a torque T on the swing leg 120sw corresponds to an impact 202 on the swing leg 120sw. When the torque T on the swing leg 120sw corresponds to the impact 202, at operation 308, 308a, the method 300 determines whether the impact 202 is indicative of a touchdown of the swing leg 120sw on a ground surface 12 about the robot 100 based on the odometry 192 of the robot 100 and the joint dynamics 134JD of the swing leg 120sw. At operation 308, 308b, when the impact 202 is not indicative of the touchdown of the swing leg 120sw, the method 300 classifies a cause of the impact 202 based on the odometry 192 of the robot 100 and the joint dynamics 134JD of the swing leg 120sw.

[0081] FIG. 4 is schematic view of an example computing device 400 that may be used to implement the systems (e.g., the sensor system 130, the computing system 140, the remote system 160, the control system 170, the perception system 180, the odometry system 190, and/or the impact detection system 200) and methods (e.g., method 300) described in this document. The computing device 400 is intended to represent various forms of digital computers, such as laptops, desktops, workstations, personal digital assistants, servers, blade servers, mainframes, and other appropriate computers. The components shown here, their connections and relationships, and their functions, are meant to be exemplary only, and are not meant to limit implementations of the inventions described and/or claimed in this document.

[0082] The computing device 400 includes a processor 410 (e.g., data processing hardware), memory 420 (e.g., memory hardware), a storage device 430, a high-speed interface/controller 440 connecting to the memory 420 and high-speed expansion ports 450, and a low speed interface/controller 460 connecting to a low speed bus 470 and a storage device 430. Each of the components 410, 420, 430, 440, 450, and 460, are interconnected using various busses, and may be mounted on a common motherboard or in other manners as appropriate. The processor 410 can process instructions for execution within the computing device 400, including instructions stored in the memory 420 or on the storage device 430 to display graphical information for a graphical user interface (GUI) on an external input/output device, such as display 480 coupled to high speed interface 440. In other implementations, multiple processors and/or multiple buses may be used, as appropriate, along with multiple memories and types of memory. Also, multiple computing devices 400 may be connected, with each device providing portions of the necessary operations (e.g., as a server bank, a group of blade servers, or a multi processor system). [0083] The memory 420 stores information non-transitorily within the computing device 400. The memory 420 may be a computer-readable medium, a volatile memory unit(s), or non-volatile memory unit(s). The non-transitory memory 420 may be physical devices used to store programs (e.g., sequences of instructions) or data (e.g., program state information) on a temporary or permanent basis for use by the computing device 400. Examples of non-volatile memory include, but are not limited to, flash memory and read-only memory (ROM) / programmable read-only memory (PROM) / erasable programmable read-only memory (EPROM) / electronically erasable programmable read only memory (EEPROM) (e.g., typically used for firmware, such as boot programs). Examples of volatile memory include, but are not limited to, random access memory (RAM), dynamic random access memory (DRAM), static random access memory (SRAM), phase change memory (PCM) as well as disks or tapes.

[0084] The storage device 430 is capable of providing mass storage for the computing device 400. In some implementations, the storage device 430 is a computer- readable medium. In various different implementations, the storage device 430 may be a floppy disk device, a hard disk device, an optical disk device, or a tape device, a flash memory or other similar solid state memory device, or an array of devices, including devices in a storage area network or other configurations. In additional implementations, a computer program product is tangibly embodied in an information carrier. The computer program product contains instructions that, when executed, perform one or more methods, such as those described above. The information carrier is a computer- or machine-readable medium, such as the memory 420, the storage device 430, or memory on processor 410.

[0085] The high speed controller 440 manages bandwidth-intensive operations for the computing device 400, while the low speed controller 460 manages lower bandwidth intensive operations. Such allocation of duties is exemplary only. In some implementations, the high-speed controller 440 is coupled to the memory 420, the display 480 (e.g., through a graphics processor or accelerator), and to the high-speed expansion ports 450, which may accept various expansion cards (not shown). In some implementations, the low-speed controller 460 is coupled to the storage device 430 and a low-speed expansion port 490. The low-speed expansion port 490, which may include various communication ports (e.g., USB, Bluetooth, Ethernet, wireless Ethernet), may be coupled to one or more input/output devices, such as a keyboard, a pointing device, a scanner, or a networking device such as a switch or router, e.g., through a network adapter.

[0086] The computing device 400 may be implemented in a number of different forms, as shown in the figure. For example, it may be implemented as a standard server 400a or multiple times in a group of such servers 400a, as a laptop computer 400b, or as part of a rack server system 400c.

[0087] Various implementations of the systems and techniques described herein can be realized in digital electronic and/or optical circuitry, integrated circuitry, specially designed ASICs (application specific integrated circuits), computer hardware, firmware, software, and/or combinations thereof. These various implementations can include implementation in one or more computer programs that are executable and/or interpretable on a programmable system including at least one programmable processor, which may be special or general purpose, coupled to receive data and instructions from, and to transmit data and instructions to, a storage system, at least one input device, and at least one output device.

[0088] These computer programs (also known as programs, software, software applications or code) include machine instructions for a programmable processor, and can be implemented in a high-level procedural and/or object-oriented programming language, and/or in assembly/machine language. As used herein, the terms “machine-readable medium” and “computer-readable medium” refer to any computer program product, non- transitory computer readable medium, apparatus and/or device (e.g., magnetic discs, optical disks, memory, Programmable Logic Devices (PLDs)) used to provide machine instructions and/or data to a programmable processor, including a machine-readable medium that receives machine instructions as a machine-readable signal. The term “machine-readable signal” refers to any signal used to provide machine instructions and/or data to a programmable processor.

[0089] The processes and logic flows described in this specification can be performed by one or more programmable processors executing one or more computer programs to perform functions by operating on input data and generating output. The processes and logic flows can also be performed by special purpose logic circuitry, e.g., an FPGA (field programmable gate array) or an ASIC (application specific integrated circuit). Processors suitable for the execution of a computer program include, by way of example, both general and special purpose microprocessors, and any one or more processors of any kind of digital computer. Generally, a processor will receive instructions and data from a read only memory or a random access memory or both. The essential elements of a computer are a processor for performing instructions and one or more memory devices for storing instructions and data. Generally, a computer will also include, or be operatively coupled to receive data from or transfer data to, or both, one or more mass storage devices for storing data, e.g., magnetic, magneto optical disks, or optical disks. However, a computer need not have such devices. Computer readable media suitable for storing computer program instructions and data include all forms of non-volatile memory, media and memory devices, including by way of example semiconductor memory devices, e.g., EPROM, EEPROM, and flash memory devices; magnetic disks, e.g., internal hard disks or removable disks; magneto optical disks; and CD ROM and DVD-ROM disks. The processor and the memory can be supplemented by, or incorporated in, special purpose logic circuitry.

[0090] To provide for interaction with a user, one or more aspects of the disclosure can be implemented on a computer having a display device, e.g., a CRT (cathode ray tube), LCD (liquid crystal display) monitor, or touch screen for displaying information to the user and optionally a keyboard and a pointing device, e.g., a mouse or a trackball, by which the user can provide input to the computer. Other kinds of devices can be used to provide interaction with a user as well; for example, feedback provided to the user can be any form of sensory feedback, e.g., visual feedback, auditory feedback, or tactile feedback; and input from the user can be received in any form, including acoustic, speech, or tactile input. In addition, a computer can interact with a user by sending documents to and receiving documents from a device that is used by the user; for example, by sending web pages to a web browser on a user's client device in response to requests received from the web browser.

[0091] A number of implementations have been described. Nevertheless, it will be understood that various modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the disclosure. Accordingly, other implementations are within the scope of the following claims.