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Proceedings Paper

Bio-inspired dynamic robotics
Author(s): Alan Seth Rudolph; Steven G. Wax; Leo Christodoulou
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Paper Abstract

The unique performance of biological systems across a wide spectrum of phylogenetic species has historically provided inspirations for roboticists in new designs and fabrication of new robotic platforms. Of particular interest to a number of important applications is to create dynamic robots able to adapt to a change in their world, unplanned events that are sometimes unexpected, and sometimes unstable, harsh conditions. It is likely that the exploring dynamics in biological systems will continue to provide rich solutions to attaining robots capable of more complex tasks for this purpose. This is because the long-term design process of evolution utilizes a natural selection process that responds to such changes. Recently, there have been significant advances across a number of interdisciplinary efforts that have generated new capabilities in biorobotics. Whole body dynamics that capture the force dynamics and functional stability of legged systems over rough terrain have been elucidated and applied in legged robotic systems. Exploying the force dynamics of flapping winged insect flight has provided key discoveries and enabled the fabrication of new micro air vehicles. New classes of materials are being developed that emulate the ability of natural muscle, capturing the compliant and soft subtle movement and performance of biological appendages. In addition, classes of new multifunctional materials are being developed to enable the design of biorobotics with the structural and functional efficiency of living organisms. Optical flow and other sensors based on the principles of invertebrate vision have been implemented on robotic platforms for autonomous robotic guidance and control. These fundamental advances have resulted in the emergence of a new generation of bioinspired dynamic robots which show significant performance improvements in early prototype testing and that could someday be useful in a number of significant applications such as search and rescue and entertainment.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 September 2003
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 5083, Unmanned Ground Vehicle Technology V, (30 September 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.501370
Show Author Affiliations
Alan Seth Rudolph, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (United States)
Steven G. Wax, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (United States)
Leo Christodoulou, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5083:
Unmanned Ground Vehicle Technology V
Grant R. Gerhart; Charles M. Shoemaker; Douglas W. Gage, Editor(s)

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