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A biologically inspired controller for hexapod walking: simple solutions by exploiting physical properties
Schmitz, J.; Dean, J.; Kindermann, Th.; Schumm, M.; Cruse, H. (2001). A biologically inspired controller for hexapod walking: simple solutions by exploiting physical properties. Biol. Bull. 200: 195-200
In: Biological Bulletin. Marine Biological Laboratory: Lancaster, Pa. etc.. ISSN 0006-3185, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors 

Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Schmitz, J.
  • Dean, J.
  • Kindermann, Th.
  • Schumm, M.
  • Cruse, H., editor

Abstract
    The locomotor system of slowly walking in-sects is well suited for coping with highly irregular terrain and therefore might represent a paragon for an artificial six-legged walking machine. Our investigations of the stick insect Carausius morosus indicate that these animals gain their adaptivity and flexibility mainly from the extremely decentralized organization of the control system that generates the leg movements. Neither the movement of a single leg nor the coordination of all six legs (i.e., the gait) appears to be centrally pre-programmed. Thus, instead of using a single, central controller with global knowledge, each leg appears to possess its own controller with only procedural knowledge for the generation of the leg’s movement. This is possible because exploiting the physical properties avoids the need for complete information on the geometry of the system that would be a prerequisite for explicitly solving the problems. Hence, production of the gait is an emergent property of the whole system, in which each of the six single-leg controllers obeys a few simple and local rules in processing state-dependent information about its neighbors.

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