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Proceedings Paper

Walking capabilities of Gregor controlled through Walknet
Author(s): Paolo Arena; Luca Patané; Malte Schilling; Josef Schmitz
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Paper Abstract

Locomotion control of legged robots is nowadays a field in continuous evolution. In this work a bio-inspired control architecture based on the stick insect is applied to control the hexapod robot Gregor. The control scheme is an extension of Walknet, a decentralized network inspired by the stick insect, that on the basis of local reflexes generates the control signals needed to coordinate locomotion in hexapod robots. Walknet has been adapted to the specific mechanical structure of Gregor that is characterized by specialized legs and a sprawled posture. In particular an innovative hind leg geometry, inspired by the cockroach, has been considered to improve climbing capabilities. The performances of the new control architecture have been evaluated in dynamic simulation environments. The robot has been endowed with distance and contact sensors for obstacle detection. A heading control is used to avoid large obstacles, and an avoidance reflex, as can be found in stick insects, has been introduced to further improve climbing capabilities of the structure. The reported results, obtained in different environmental configurations, stress the adaptive capabilities of the Walknet approach: Even in unpredictable and cluttered environments the walking behaviour of the simulated robot and the robot prototype, controlled through a FPGA based board, remained stable.

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 May 2007
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 6592, Bioengineered and Bioinspired Systems III, 65920K (22 May 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.724091
Show Author Affiliations
Paolo Arena, Univ. degli Studi di Catania (Italy)
Luca Patané, Univ. degli Studi di Catania (Italy)
Malte Schilling, Univ. of Bielefeld (Germany)
Josef Schmitz, Univ. of Bielefeld (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6592:
Bioengineered and Bioinspired Systems III
Paolo Arena; Ángel Rodríguez-Vázquez; Gustavo Liñán-Cembrano, Editor(s)

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