A Versatile Inverse Kinematics Formulation for Retargeting Motions onto Robots with Kinematic Loops


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

IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters