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Pattern generators with sensory feedback for the control of quadruped locomotion


Conference Paper


Central pattern generators (CPGs) are becoming a popular model for the control of locomotion of legged robots. Biological CPGs are neural networks responsible for the generation of rhythmic movements, especially locomotion. In robotics, a systematic way of designing such CPGs as artificial neural networks or systems of coupled oscillators with sensory feedback inclusion is still missing. In this contribution, we present a way of designing CPGs with coupled oscillators in which we can independently control the ascending and descending phases of the oscillations (i.e. the swing and stance phases of the limbs). Using insights from dynamical system theory, we construct generic networks of oscillators able to generate several gaits under simple parameter changes. Then we introduce a systematic way of adding sensory feedback from touch sensors in the CPG such that the controller is strongly coupled with the mechanical system it controls. Finally we control three different simulated robots (iCub, Aibo and Ghostdog) using the same controller to show the effectiveness of the approach. Our simulations prove the importance of independent control of swing and stance duration. The strong mutual coupling between the CPG and the robot allows for more robust locomotion, even under non precise parameters and non-flat environment.

Author(s): Righetti, L. and Ijspeert, A.J.
Book Title: 2008 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation
Pages: 819--824
Year: 2008
Publisher: IEEE

Department(s): Movement Generation and Control
Bibtex Type: Conference Paper (inproceedings)

DOI: 10.1109/ROBOT.2008.4543306

Address: Pasadena, USA
URL: https://infoscience.epfl.ch/record/130740/files/righetti08.pdf


  title = {Pattern generators with sensory feedback for the control of quadruped locomotion},
  author = {Righetti, L. and Ijspeert, A.J.},
  booktitle = {2008 {IEEE} {International} {Conference} on {Robotics} and {Automation}},
  pages = {819--824},
  publisher = {IEEE},
  address = {Pasadena, USA},
  year = {2008},
  url = {https://infoscience.epfl.ch/record/130740/files/righetti08.pdf}