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Robust Co-Design of Canonical Underactuated Systems for Increased Certifiable Stability

Federico Girlanda; Lasse Shala; Shivesh Kumar; Frank Kirchner
In: 2024 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA). IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA-2024), May 13-17, Yokohama, Japan, IEEE, 5/2024.


Optimal behaviours of a system to perform a specific task can be achieved by leveraging the coupling between trajectory optimization, stabilization, and design optimization. This approach is particularly advantageous for underactuated systems, which are systems that have fewer actuators than degrees of freedom and thus require for more elaborate control systems. This paper proposes a novel co-design algorithm, namely Robust Trajectory Control with Design optimization (RTC-D). An inner optimization layer (RTC) simultaneously performs direct transcription (DIRTRAN) to find a nominal trajectory while computing optimal hyperparameters for a stabilizing time-varying linear quadratic regulator (TVLQR). RTC-D augments RTC with a design optimization layer, maximizing the system's robustness through a time-varying Lyapunov-based region of attraction (ROA) analysis. This analysis provides a formal guarantee of stability for a set of off-nominal states. The proposed algorithm has been tested on two different underactuated systems: the torque-limited simple pendulum and the cart-pole. Extensive simulations of off-nominal initial conditions demonstrate improved robustness, while real-system experiments show increased insensitivity to torque disturbances.

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