Simulation Analysis Of Linear Quadratic Regulator Control Of Sagittal-plane Human Walking-implications For Exoskeletons


van den Bogert, Antonie J/0000-0002-3791-3749

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Journal Of Biomechanical Engineering-Transactions Of The ASME


The linear quadratic regulator (LQR) is a classical optimal control approach that can regulate gait dynamics about target kinematic trajectories. Exoskeletons to restore gait function have conventionally utilized time-varying proportional-derivative (PD) control of leg joints. But, these PD parameters are not uniquely optimized for whole-body (full-state) performance. The objective of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of LQR full-state feedback compared to PD control to maintain bipedal walking of a sagittal-plane computational model against force disturbances. Several LQR controllers were uniquely solved with feedback gains optimized for different levels of tracking capability versus control effort. The main implications to future exoskeleton control systems include (1) which LQR controllers out-perform PD controllers in walking maintenance and effort, (2) verifying that LQR desirably produces joint torques that oppose rapidly growing joint state errors, and (3) potentially equipping accurate sensing systems for nonjoint states such as hip-position and torso orientation. The LQR controllers capable of longer walk times than respective PD controllers also required less control effort. During sudden leg collapse, LQR desirably behaved like PD by generating feedback torques that opposed the direction of leg-joint errors. Feedback from nonjoint states contributed to over 50\% of the LQR joint torques and appear critical for whole-body LQR control. While LQR control poses implementation challenges, such as more sensors for full-state feedback and operation near the desired trajectories, it offers significant performance advantages over PD control.