Quadruped Mobile Manipulation (QMM)

2023-03-31 12:54:00 / Quick Start Guide & Review / Comments 0
Quadruped Mobile Manipulation (QMM) - Quadruped Mobile Manipulation | MYBOTSHOP.DE


Introduction to QMM

Quadruped Mobile Manipulation (QMM) is a robotic technology that combines the mobility and stability of quadrupedal robots with the manipulative abilities of robotic arms. With QMM, robotic systems can perform complex tasks that require locomotion and manipulation, such as carrying objects, opening doors, and traversing uneven terrains. The technology has been gaining significant attention in recent years due to its potential to revolutionize various industries, including agriculture, manufacturing, and search and rescue.

Applications for QMM

Source Unitree

The possibilities for QMM are endless, and many industries are already exploring the technology's capabilities. One example is in agriculture, where robots equipped with QMM technology can be used to plant and harvest crops, move equipment, and perform other tasks that were previously performed by humans. In manufacturing, QMM robots can be used to move products between assembly lines or warehouses, perform quality control checks, and load and unload products onto trucks.

Another exciting application for QMM is in search and rescue operations. Quadrupedal robots equipped with manipulative arms can traverse rough terrain and debris, reach inaccessible areas, and provide aid to victims in disaster zones. This technology can also be used to explore and map uncharted territories, such as underground mines or the ocean floor. One of the primary advantages of QMM technology is its ability to perform tasks that require both mobility and manipulation. Here are a few real-world applications of QMM that are being developed and apply:

  1. Search and Rescue : QMM robots can navigate disaster areas or other hazardous environments to search for survivors and perform other essential tasks. The robots can carry supplies or equipment while moving on rough terrain, such as rubble or debris.

  2. Agriculture : QMM robots can be used in agriculture to inspect crops, apply pesticides, and harvest crops. The robots can navigate the farm terrain and perform precise movements to perform their tasks.

  3. Logistics : QMM robots can be utilized in logistics to move packages in warehouses or distribute goods in retail stores. The robots can move on uneven surfaces and carry multiple objects at once.

  4. Inspection : QMM robots can inspect infrastructure such as pipelines, bridges, and buildings. The robots can move around and above obstacles while collecting data on the condition of the structure.

  5. Entertainment : QMM robots can be used for entertainment purposes such as performing acrobatic feats or dance moves. The robots can perform precise movements and create unique performances.

  6. Manufacturing : QMM robots can be used in manufacturing processes such as assembling small parts or moving objects around the factory floor. The robots can navigate tight spaces and handle delicate objects with precision.

  7. Mining : QMM robots can be used in mining operations to explore underground mines and transport equipment or materials. The robots can navigate narrow tunnels and carry heavy loads.

  8. Military : QMM robots can be used in military operations to carry supplies or equipment and navigate rough terrain. The robots can also be used to detect and disarm explosives.

  9. Construction : QMM robots can be used in construction to perform tasks such as moving building materials, inspecting construction sites, and surveying land. The robots can navigate rough terrain and carry heavy loads.

  10. Healthcare : QMM robots can be used in healthcare to assist with patient care or perform tasks such as delivering medication or supplies. The robots can navigate hospital environments and interact with patients in a non-threatening way.

Technologies Behind QMM

Source Unitree

There are already several existing technologies that enable QMM. One of the most important are the use of:

  • Depth cameras
  • LiDARS
  • IMU

This is to enable the robot to perceive its environment and move with precision. Another important technology is the development of algorithms that enable the robot to plan and execute complex movements. Machine learning is also being used to improve the robot's ability to navigate and manipulate objects.

In terms of software technologies that are available for QMM development.

  • ROS (Robot Operating System) is a popular open-source framework that provides tools and libraries for building and controlling robotic systems.
  • Gazebo is a simulation software that allows developers to test their robots in a virtual environment before deploying them in the real world.
  • Nvidia Issac Gym/Sim is another simulation that is much more advanced and accurate when it comes to robotic manipulation tasks.

Top Universities Developing QMM Software

Source CoRL 2022

  1. ETH Zurich : ETH Zurich is one of the leading universities in the world for robotics research. Their Robotics, Systems, and Control group has developed several software technologies for QMM, including the Whole-body Trajectory Optimization (WTO) algorithm and the Gait Transition Control (GTC) algorithm.
  2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) : MIT has a well-established robotics program that includes research in QMM. Their Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) has developed several software technologies for QMM, including the Virtual Constraints Approach (VCA) and the Model Predictive Control (MPC) algorithm.
  3. Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) : CMU has one of the top robotics programs in the world, and their Robotics Institute is leading research in QMM. The Institute has developed several software technologies for QMM, including the Rapidly-exploring Random Tree (RRT) algorithm and the QMDP algorithm.
  4. University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) : UC Berkeley has a strong robotics program that includes research in QMM. Their Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences has developed several software technologies for QMM, including the Dynamic Movement Primitives (DMPs) algorithm and the Quadrupedal Locomotion and Manipulation Planner (QLAMP) algorithm.
  5. Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) : Georgia Tech has a robotics program that focuses on QMM research. Their School of Interactive Computing has developed several software technologies for QMM, including the Compliant Contact Manipulation (CCM) algorithm and the Reactive Foot Placement (RFP) algorithm.

These universities are actively working on developing software technologies for QMM, including algorithms for locomotion, manipulation, and control. Their research is contributing to the advancement of QMM technology and has the potential to transform various industries. Additionally, many other Tech-Savvy universities in the world contribute to the software and training required for engineering and controlling QMMs but are not prominent due to lack of public advertisement. The contributions of these universities are primarily recognized by their publications.

QMM Affordable Hardware

Quadruped.de partnered with Unitree Robotics are one of the top companies that provide affordable hardware for QMM development. With regards to QMM, The B1 robot from Unitree Robotics is an excellent example of QMM technology. This robot is only 112.6cm tall and weighs just 55kg, but it is capable of impressive feats of mobility and manipulation. The B1 has four legs, each of which is equipped with three motors, enabling it to move with precision and stability. The robot may also be equipped with a 2D/3D LIDAR sensor, has in built cameras, and an IMU, allowing it to perceive its environment and avoid obstacles.

The B1 can be combined with the Z1 manipulator which is a robotic manipulator arm that has three degree-of-freedom (DOF) arm, which means it has three joints that allow it to move and manipulate objects in three-dimensional space. The arm is attached to the robot's body via a rotating joint that allows it to move independently of the robot's locomotion. This enables the B1 to walk on four legs while using its arm to manipulate objects or perform other tasks. Furthermore, the end effector on the Z1's robotic manipulator arm is a gripper, which can open and close to grasp objects. The gripper is capable of exerting a maximum force of 30N, which is sufficient to lift and manipulate objects weighing up to 1kg. The arm can also rotate around its base to adjust the orientation of the gripper,


The article explains the concept of Quadruped Mobile Manipulation (QMM), a robotic technology that combines the mobility and stability of quadrupedal robots with the manipulative abilities of robotic arms. QMM enables robots to perform complex tasks that require locomotion and manipulation. The article also lists several real-world applications for QMM, including search and rescue, agriculture, logistics, inspection, entertainment, manufacturing, mining, military, construction, and healthcare. The technologies behind QMM are also discussed, including depth cameras, LiDARS, IMU, algorithms, and software technologies such as ROS and Gazebo as well as where one could be trained and equipped with the necessary software engineering skills required for such a feat.


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