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Gait Adaptation on Visually Guided Walking Robots

Abstract:
The biological foundation of most natural locomotory systems is the Central Pattern Generator (CPG). The CPG is a set of neural circuits found in the spinal cord, arranged to produce oscillatory periodic waveforms that activate muscles in a coordinated. A 2nd generation VLSI CPG emulator chip - with more and improved neurons, enhanced flexibility, and a higher degree of programmability - has been built to synchronize oscillators with different frequencies and phases, also produced by the chip, through the coupling of integrate-and-fire (IF) silicon neurons. The oscillators are then used to control the movement of a robot's limbs by using the IF neurons to set a specific phase difference between the
oscillators.

Preliminary Results:
The chip has been tested, proven to work and is now being reprogrammed using a PIC microcontroller to allow this processing center to confortably fit on a robot's back. The goal is to achieve a self-contained biped locomotion solution using as little power as possible.


References and Publications: