The postural stability of bipedal robots is investigated in perspective of foot-rotation during locomotion. With foot already rotated, the biped is modeled as an underactuated kinematic structure. The stability of such biped robots is analyzed by introducing the concept of rotational stability. The rotational stability investigates whether a biped would lead to a flat-foot posture or the biped would topple over. The rotational stability is quantified as a ground reference point named “rotational stability index (RSI)” point. Conditions are established to achieve rotational stability during biped locomotion using the concept of the RSI point. The applicability of the RSI point is illustrated through experimentation for the landing stability analysis of the bipedal jumping gaits.
The traditional stability criteria such as zero-moment point (ZMP) [M. Vukobratovic and B. Borovac, “Zero-moment point – thirty five years of its life,” Int. J. Humanoid Robot. 1(1), 157–173 (2004)] and foot-rotation indicator (FRI) [A. Goswami, “Postural stability of biped robots and the foot-rotation indicator (FRI) point,” Int. J. Robot. Res. 18(6), 523–533 (1999)] are not applicable to analyze biped's postural stability when foot is already rotated. The RSI point is established as a stability criteria for planar bipedal locomotion in presence of foot rotation.