Decentralized control scheme for myriapod robot inspired by adaptive and resilient centipede locomotion

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16 Citations (Scopus)


Recently, myriapods have attracted the attention of engineers because mobile robots that mimic them potentially have the capability of producing highly stable, adaptive, and resilient behaviors. The major challenge here is to develop a control scheme that can coordinate their numerous legs in real time, and an autonomous decentralized control could be the key to solve this problem. Therefore, we focus on real centipedes and aim to design a decentralized control scheme for myriapod robots by drawing inspiration from behavioral experiments on centipede locomotion under unusual conditions. In the behavioral experiments, we observed the response to the removal of a part of the terrain and to amputation of several legs. Further, we determined that the ground reaction force is significant for generating rhythmic leg movements; the motion of each leg is likely affected by a sensory input from its neighboring legs. Thus, we constructed a two-dimensional model wherein a simple local reflexive mechanism was implemented in each leg. We performed simulations by using this model and demonstrated that the myriapod robot could move adaptively to changes in the environment and body properties. Our findings will shed new light on designing adaptive and resilient myriapod robots that can function under various circumstances.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0171421
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Feb


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