Autonomous Environment Manipulation to Assist Humanoid Locomotion
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Legged robots have unique capabilities to traverse complex environments by stepping over and onto objects. Many footstep planners have been developed to take advantage of these capabilities. However, legged robots also have inherent constraints such as a maximum step height and distance. These constraints typically limit their reachable space, independent of footstep planning. Thus, we propose that robots such as humanoid robots that have manipulation capabilities should use them. A robot should autonomously modify its environment if necessary. We present a system that enabled a real robot to use a box to create itself a stair step or place a board on the ground to cross a gap, allowing it to reach its otherwise unreachable goal configuration.