An omni-directional kick engine for humanoid robots with parameter optimization

Pedro Pena, Joseph Masterjohn, Ubbo E Visser

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations


Incorporating a dynamic kick engine that is both fast and effective is pivotal to be competitive in one of the world’s biggest AI and robotics initiative: RoboCup. Using the NAO robot as a testbed, we developed a dynamic kick engine that can generate a kick trajectory with an arbitrary direction without prior input or knowledge of the parameters of the kick. The trajectories are generated using cubic splines (two degree three polynomials with a via-point). The trajectories are executed while the robot is dynamically balancing on one foot. When the robot swings the leg for the kick motion, unprecedented forces might be applied on the robot. To compensate for these forces, we developed a Zero Moment Point (ZMP) based preview controller that minimizes the ZMP error. Although a variety of kick engines have been implemented by others, there are only a few papers on how kick engine parameters have been optimized to give an effective kick or even a kick that minimizes energy consumption and time. Parameters such as kick configuration, limit of the robot, or shape of the polynomial can be optimized. We propose an optimization framework based on the Webots simulator to optimize these parameters. Experiments of the physical robot show promising results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRoboCup 2017
Subtitle of host publicationRobot World Cup XXI
EditorsHidehisa Akiyama, Oliver Obst, Claude Sammut, Flavio Tonidandel
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)9783030003074
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018
Event21st RoboCup International Symposium, 2017 - Nagoya, Japan
Duration: Jul 27 2017Jul 31 2017

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume11175 LNAI
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Other21st RoboCup International Symposium, 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'An omni-directional kick engine for humanoid robots with parameter optimization'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this