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GPU-based Semi-Infinite Optimization for Whole-Body Robot Control

Abstract : A humanoid robot is a complex system with numerous degrees of freedom, whose behavior is subject to the nonlinear equations of motion. As a result, planning its motion is a difficult task from a computational perspective.In this thesis, we aim at developing a method that can leverage the computing power of GPUs in the context of optimization-based whole-body motion planning. We first exhibit the properties of the optimization problem, and show that several avenues can be exploited in the context of parallel computing. Then, we present our approach of the dynamics computation, suitable for highly-parallel processing architectures. Next, we propose a many-core GPU implementation of the motion planning problem. Our approach computes the constraints and their gradients in parallel, and feeds the result to a nonlinear optimization solver running on the CPU. Because each constraint and its gradient can be evaluated independently for each time interval, we end up with a highly parallelizable problem that can take advantage of GPUs. We also propose a new parametrization of contact forces adapted to our optimization problem. Finally, we investigate the extension of our work to model predictive control.
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Benjamin Chrétien. GPU-based Semi-Infinite Optimization for Whole-Body Robot Control. Automatic. Université Montpellier, 2016. English. ⟨NNT : 2016MONTT315⟩. ⟨tel-01816947⟩

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