A Constrained Kalman Filter for Rigid Body Systems with Frictional Contact


P. Varin and S. Kuindersma, “A Constrained Kalman Filter for Rigid Body Systems with Frictional Contact,” in International Workshop on the Algorithmic Foundations of Robotics (WAFR), 2018.
contact-filter.pdf4.92 MB


Contact interactions are central to robot manipulation and locomotion behaviors. State estimation techniques that explicitly capture the dynamics of contact offer the potential to reduce estimation errors from unplanned contact events and improve closed-loop control performance. This is particularly true in highly dynamic situations where common simplifications like no-slip or quasi-static sliding are violated. Incorporating contact constraints requires care to address the numerical challenges associated with discontinuous dynamics, which make straightforward application of derivative-based techniques such as the Extended Kalman Filter impossible. In this paper, we derive an approximate maximum a posteriori estimator that can handle rigid body contact by explicitly imposing contact constraints in the observation update. We compare the performance of this estimator to an existing state-of-the-art Unscented Kalman Filter designed for estimation through contact and demonstrate the scalability of the approach by estimating the state of a 20-DOF bipedal robot in realtime.

Last updated on 10/30/2018