February 05, 2015 / by George Council / In booklist

Optimization-based Locomotion Planning, Estimation, and Control Design for Atlas Humonoid Robot

A fun paper expanding on the control methods used in the well-known and well-performing Atlas robots by Boston Dynamics. A little bit of a 'behind the curtain' result, it's interesting to see the methods behind a robot that has gained so much attention. Unsprisingly, online optimization of trajectory outcomes is employed, suggesting that a more constructive theory for robot decision making and control is missing.

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February 04, 2015 / by George Council / In booklist

Sensory Feedback in Cockroach Locomotion - Current Knowledge and Open Questions

The American cockroach, Periplaneta americana, provides a successful model for the study of legged locomotion. Sensory regulation and the relative importance of sensory feedback vs. central control in animal locomotion are key aspects in our understanding of locomotive behavior. Here we introduce the cockroach model and describe the basic characteristics of the neural generation and control of walking and running in this insect.

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October 31, 2014 / by Shai Revzen / In booklist

Snake-Like Robots

Limbless organisms such as snakes can navigate nearly all terrain. In particular, desert-dwelling sidewinder rattlesnakes (Crotalus cerastes) operate effectively on inclined granular media (such as sand dunes) that induce failure in field-tested limbless robots through slipping and pitching. Our laboratory experiments reveal that as granular incline angle increases, sidewinder rattlesnakes increase the length of their body in contact with the sand.

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