Model-based external force/moment estimation for humanoid robots with no torque measurement


The dynamics of a humanoid robot cannot be correctly described independently from the external forces acting on it. These forces have to be reconstructed to enable the robot to control them or to compensate for them. Force sensors are usually used to measure these forces, but because of their cost, they are often put only on the ankle/feet and possibly the wrists. This paper addresses the issue of the estimation of external forces and moments that apply at any part of a robot without direct force measurements and without torque measurements. The sensors used are the regular force sensors and the IMUs of the robot. The method relies on a model-based estimator able to make the fusion between these sensors and the whole body dynamics. The estimator reconstructs a single state vector containing the floating-base kinematics, a filtered measurement of contact force and an additional estimation external force that we evaluate in this paper. Validation is performed on HRP-2 in a multi-contact motion.