PyRoboCOP is a lightweight Python-based package for control and optimization of robotic systems described by nonlinear Differential Algebraic Equations (DAEs). In particular, the package can handle systems with contacts that are described by complementarity constraints and provides a general framework for specifying obstacle avoidance constraints. The package performs direct transcription of the DAEs into a set of nonlinear equations by performing orthogonal collocation on finite elements. The resulting optimization problem belongs to the class of Mathematical Programs with Complementarity Constraints (MPCCs). MPCCs fail to satisfy commonly assumed constraint qualifications and require special handling of the complementarity constraints in order for NonLinear Program (NLP) solvers to solve them effectively. PyRoboCOP provides automatic reformulation of the complementarity constraints that enables NLP solvers to perform optimization of robotic systems. The package is interfaced with ADOL-C for obtaining sparse derivatives by automatic differentiation and IPOPT for performing optimization. To learn more, the corresponding paper is on arXiv.
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