Gait Adaptation on Visually Guided Walking Robots
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
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:
- F. Tenore, R. Etienne-Cummings, and M.A. Lewis. "Entrainment of Silicon Central Pattern Generators for Legged Locomotory Control," Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems (Pending Publication)
- M. A. Lewis, R. Etienne-Cummings, M. J. Hartmann, A.
H. Cohen, Z. R. Xu, "An in silico central pattern generator: silicon
oscillator, coupling, entrainment, and physical computation," Biological Cybernetics, v.88, n.2,
2003, pp. 137-151.
- M.A. Lewis, R. Etienne-Cummings, A.H. Cohen, M.
Hartmann, "Toward biomorphic control using custom aVLSI chips," Proceedings of the International
conference on Robotics and Automation, San Francisco, CA, 2000.