AAAI Publications, Twenty-Second IAAI Conference

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Predicting Falls of a Humanoid Robot through Machine Learning
Shivaram Kalyanakrishnan, Ambarish Goswami

Last modified: 2010-07-05


Although falls are undesirable in humanoid robots, they are also inevitable, especially as robots get deployed in physically interactive human environments. We consider the problem of fall prediction, i.e., to predict if a robot's balance controller can prevent a fall from the current state. A trigger from the fall predictor is used to switch the robot from a balance maintenance mode to a fall control mode. Hence, it is desirable for the fall predictor to signal imminent falls with sufficient lead time before the actual fall, while minimizing false alarms. Analytical techniques and intuitive rules fail to satisfy these competing objectives on a large robot that is subjected to strong disturbances and therefore exhibits complex dynamics. Today effective supervised learning tools are available for finding patterns in high-dimensional data. Our paper contributes a novel approach to engineer fall data such that a supervised learning method can be exploited to achieve reliable prediction. Specifically, we introduce parameters to control the tradeoff between the false positive rate and lead time. Several parameter combinations yield solutions that improve both the false positive rate and the lead time of hand-coded solutions. Learned predictors are decision lists with typical depths of 5-10, in a 16-dimensional feature space. Experiments are carried out in simulation on an Asimo-like robot.


Fall prediction; Humanoid robots; Machine learning

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