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Embodiment enables the spinal engine on quadruped robot locomotion


Zhao, Qian; Nakajima, Kohei; Sumioka, Hidenobu; Yu, Xiaoxiang; Pfeifer, Rolf (2012). Embodiment enables the spinal engine on quadruped robot locomotion. In: 2012 IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2012), Vilamoura, Algarve, Portugal, 7 October 2012 - 12 October 2012, 2449-2456.

Abstract

The biological hypothesis of spinal engine states that locomotion is mainly achieved by the spine, while the legs may serve as assistance. Inspired by this hypothesis, a compliant, multiple degree-of-freedom, biologically-inspired spine has been embedded into a quadruped robot, named Kitty, which has no actuation on the legs. In this paper, we demonstrate how versatile behaviors (bounding, trotting, and turning) can be generated exclusively by the spine's movements through dynamical interaction between the controller, the body, and the environment, known as embodiment. Moreover, we introduce information theoretic approach to quantitatively study the spine internal dynamics and its effect on the bounding gait based on three spinal morphologies. These three morphologies differ in the position of virtual spinal joint where the spine is easier to get bent. The experimental results reveal that locomotion can be enhanced by using the spine featuring a rear virtual spinal joint, which offers more freedom for the rear legs to move forward. In addition, the information theoretic analysis shows that, according to the morphological differences of the spine, the information structure changes. The relationship between the observed behavior of the robot and the corresponding information structure is discussed in detail.

Abstract

The biological hypothesis of spinal engine states that locomotion is mainly achieved by the spine, while the legs may serve as assistance. Inspired by this hypothesis, a compliant, multiple degree-of-freedom, biologically-inspired spine has been embedded into a quadruped robot, named Kitty, which has no actuation on the legs. In this paper, we demonstrate how versatile behaviors (bounding, trotting, and turning) can be generated exclusively by the spine's movements through dynamical interaction between the controller, the body, and the environment, known as embodiment. Moreover, we introduce information theoretic approach to quantitatively study the spine internal dynamics and its effect on the bounding gait based on three spinal morphologies. These three morphologies differ in the position of virtual spinal joint where the spine is easier to get bent. The experimental results reveal that locomotion can be enhanced by using the spine featuring a rear virtual spinal joint, which offers more freedom for the rear legs to move forward. In addition, the information theoretic analysis shows that, according to the morphological differences of the spine, the information structure changes. The relationship between the observed behavior of the robot and the corresponding information structure is discussed in detail.

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5 citations in Web of Science®
10 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper), refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Informatics
Dewey Decimal Classification:000 Computer science, knowledge & systems
Language:English
Event End Date:12 October 2012
Deposited On:24 Jan 2013 13:54
Last Modified:06 Aug 2017 05:03
Publisher:Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Series Name:IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems. Proceedings
ISSN:2153-0858
ISBN:978-1-4673-1737-5
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1109/IROS.2012.6386048
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:7820

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