Autonomous Learning of Stable Quadruped Locomotion

Saggar M., D'Silva T., Kohl N., Stone P. 2007. Lecture Notes in Computer Science


A fast gait is an essential component of any successful team in the RoboCup 4-legged league. However, quickly moving quadruped robots, including those with learned gaits, often move in such a way so as to cause unsteady camera motions which degrade the robot’s visual capabilities. This paper presents an implementation of the policy gradient machine learning algorithm that searches for a parameterized walk while optimizing for both speed and stability. To the best of our knowledge, previous learned walks have all focused exclusively on speed. Our method is fully implemented and tested on the Sony Aibo ERS-7 robot platform. The resulting gait is reasonably fast and considerably more stable compared to our previous fast gaits. We demonstrate that this stability can significantly improve the robot’s visual object recognition.