Authors: Ian Abraham, Gerardo de la Torre, Todd Murphey
This paper explores the application of Koopman operator theory to the control of robotic systems. The operator is introduced as a method to generate data-driven models that have utility for model-based control methods. We then motivate the use of the Koopman operator towards augmenting model-based control. Specifically, we illustrate how the operator can be used to obtain a linearizable data-driven model for an unknown dynamical process that is useful for model-based control synthesis. Simulated results show that with increasing complexity in the choice of the basis functions, a closed-loop controller is able to invert and stabilize a cart- and VTOL-pendulum systems. Furthermore, the specification of the basis function are shown to be of importance when generating a Koopman operator for specific robotic systems. Experimental results with the Sphero SPRK robot explore the utility of the Koopman operator in a reduced state representation setting where increased complexity in the basis function improve open- and closed-loop controller performance in various terrains, including sand.