Choreographic abstractions for style-based robotic motion

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LaViers, Amy
Egerstedt, Magnus B.
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What does it mean to do the disco? Or perform a cheerleading routine? Or move in a style appropriate for a given mode of human interaction? Answering these questions requires an interpretation of what differentiates two distinct movement styles and a method for parsing this difference into quantitative parameters. Furthermore, such an understanding of principles of style has applications in control, robotics, and dance theory. This thesis present a definition for “style of motion” that is rooted in dance theory, a framework for stylistic motion generation that separates basic movement ordering from its precise trajectory, and an inverse optimal control method for extracting these stylistic parameters from real data. On the part of generation, the processes of sequencing and scaling are modulated by the stylistic parameters enumerated: an automation that lists basic primary movements, sets which determine the final structure of the state machine that encodes allowable sequences, and weights in an optimal control problem that generates motions of the desired quality. This generation framework is demonstrated on a humanoid robotic platform for two distinct case studies – disco dancing and cheerleading. In order to extract the parameters that comprise the stylistic definition put forth, two inverse optimal control problems are posed and solved -- one to classify individual movements and one to segment longer movement sequences into smaller motion primitives. The motion of a real human leg (recorded via motion capture) is classified in an example. Thus, the contents of the thesis comprise a tool to produce and understand stylistic motion.
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