chapter  4
26 Pages

Bio-Inspired Locomotion Control of the Hexapod Robot Gregor III

WithPAOLO ARENA, LUCA PATANÉ

Contents 4.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70 4.2 State of the Art . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71 4.3 Design Guidelines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73 4.4 Robotic Platform . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77

4.4.1 Biological Inspiration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77 4.4.2 Robot Mechanical Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78

4.5 Locomotion Control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79 4.6 Walknet and Gregor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79

4.6.1 Gregor III . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80 4.6.2 Walknet Control on Gregor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80

4.7 Dynamic Simulation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83 4.8 Hardware Architecture and Robot Experiments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84 4.9 Conclusions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91 Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91 References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92

This chapter focuses on the realization of a bio-inspired hexapod robot, named Gregor III, a moving platform used for testing cognitive algorithms. The topic of bio-inspired locomotion control of legged robots is treated following different levels of abstraction: neurobiological basis, mathematical models, insect behavior, and bio-inspired solutions for Robotics. Gregor III was designed and developed to study cognitive systems; the final aim is to use the robot as a testbed for an insect brain architecture. The main points addressed are bio-inspired principles acquired from the insect world, dynamic simulation environments used to assess the design procedures, hardware design and realization of the control architecture based on FPGA-devices, and development of a decentralized locomotion control algorithm based on the Walknet controller. A description of all the steps followed, starting from the biological basis to the realization of the final prototype and the experimental results, is reported.