Safety-Critical Control of Dynamic Robots
Guaranteeing safe behavior is a critical component of translating robots from a laboratory setting to real-world environments in an autonomous fashion. With this as motivation, this talk will present a safety-critical approach to the control of dynamic robotic systems, ranging from ground robots to aerial robots to legged robots. To this end, a unified nonlinear control framework for realizing dynamic behaviors will be presented. Underlying this approach is an optimization-based control paradigm leveraging control barrier functions that guarantee safety (represented as forward set invariance). This methodology will be motivated by of control Lyapunov functions and framed in the context of multi-layer controllers. The implications on autonomous systems, together with connections with learning, will be considered. The application of these ideas will be demonstrated experimentally on a wide variety of robotic systems, including: multi-robot systems with guaranteed safe behavior, bipedal and quadrupedal robots capable of achieving dynamic walking behaviors in natural environments, and robotic assistive devices (including prostheses and exoskeletons) aimed at restoring mobility.