Interviews

Robots: Chaos Control

Posted 27 Mar 2010 at 16:15 UTC by mwaibel Share This

Walking, swallowing, respiration and many other key functions in humans and other animals are controlled by Central Pattern Generators (CPGs). In essence, CPGs are small, autonomous neural networks that produce rhythmic outputs, usually found in animal's spinal cords rather than their brains. Their relative simplicity and obvious success in biological systems has led to some success in using CPGs in robotics. However, current systems are restricted to very simple CPGs (e.g., restricted to a single walking gait). A recent breakthrough at the BCCN at the University of Göttingen, Germany has now allowed to achieve 11 basic behavioral patterns (various gaits, orienting, taxis, self-protection) from a single CPG, closing in on the 10–20 different basic behavioral patterns found in a typical cockroach. The trick: Work with a chaotic, rather than a stable periodic CPG regime. For more on CPGs, listen to the latest episode of the Robots podcast on Chaos Control, which interviews Poramate Manoonpong, one of the lead researchers in Göttingen, and Alex Pitti from the University of Tokyo who uses chaos controllers that can synchronize to the dynamics of the body they are controlling.

See more of the latest robot news!

Recent blogs

31 Oct 2014 mwaibel (Master)
14 Oct 2014 shimniok (Journeyer)
5 Aug 2014 svo (Master)
20 Jul 2014 Flanneltron (Journeyer)
3 Jul 2014 jmhenry (Journeyer)
3 Jul 2014 steve (Master)
2 Jul 2014 Petar.Kormushev (Master)
10 Jun 2014 robotvibes (Master)
10 May 2014 evilrobots (Observer)
2 Mar 2014 wedesoft (Master)
X
Share this page