Taming large degrees of freedom - A case study with an amoeboid robot

Takuya Umedachi, Koichi Takeda, Toshiyuki Nakagaki, Ryo Kobayashi, Akio Ishiguro

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Animals exhibit astoundingly adaptive and supple locomotion under real world constraints. In order to endow robots with similar capabilities, we must implement large degrees of freedom, equivalent to animals, into the robots' bodies. For taming large degrees of freedom, the concept of autonomous decentralized control plays a pivotal role. However, a systematic way of designing such autonomous decentralized control system is still missing. Aiming at understanding the principles that underlie animals' locomotion, in our early studies, we focused on true slime mold, a primitive living organism, and extracted a decentralized control scheme. In order to validate this control scheme, this paper presents a soft-bodied amoeboid robot inspired by true slime mold. Significant features of this robot are twofold: (1) the robot has truly soft and deformable body stemming from real-time tunable springs and a balloon, the former is used for an outer skin of the body and the latter serves as protoplasm; and (2) a fully decentralized control using coupled oscillators with completely local sensory feedback mechanism is realized by exploiting the long-distance physical interaction between the body parts stemming from both the softness of the body and the law of conservation of protoplasmic mass. Experimental results show that this robot exhibits truly supple locomotion without relying on any hierarchical structure. The results obtained are expected to shed new light on design scheme for autonomous decentralized control system.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2010 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2010
Pages3787-3792
Number of pages6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Aug 26
Event2010 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2010 - Anchorage, AK, United States
Duration: 2010 May 32010 May 7

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation
ISSN (Print)1050-4729

Other

Other2010 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2010
CountryUnited States
CityAnchorage, AK
Period10/5/310/5/7

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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