Friday, March 16, 2007

Auke Ijspeert - Salamander robot swims and walks

Talking Robot - Auke Ijspeert explains his amphibious salamander robot

In this episode we interview Auke Ijspeert on his amphibious salamander robot. He explains how central pattern generators are a powerful tool to link simple high-level commands to complex patterns of locomotion including gait changes, and how they are used in his robot.

Auke Ijspeert is an assistant professor at the EPFL and head of the Biologically Inspired Robotics Group (BIRG). He is very well known for his work on central pattern generators and their use in robot control. His research interests are at the intersection between robotics, computational neuroscience, nonlinear dynamical systems, and machine learning. His goal is to study the neural mechanisms underlying movement control and learning in animals and to develop robots capable of agile locomotion in complex environments.

His current research projects span theoretical approaches to sensorimotor coordination, biological modeling of lamprey and salamander locomotion and robotic implementations in robot fish, snakes, salamanders and humanoids.

Talking Robot Podcast - A salamander robot that can walk and swim


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  • I am wondering if the CPG is present as an innate characteristic (in its biological form) or something that is learnt. I ask this because an animal generally cant move effectively until it has has time to learn how to control its limbs.

    Perhaps this learning process is just the brain discovering how to produce the high level signals for the CPG to provide a suitable gait for locomotion?

    I can see how the model works well in robotics as the distributed nature of the processing will allow the robot's "brain" to focus on more important things.

    Many thanks for another great show!

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