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Descending commands to an insect leg controller network cause smooth behavioral transitions

Rutter, BL, Taylor, BK, Quinn, RD, Bender, JA, Ritzmann, RE, Blümel, M and Lewinger, WA (2011) Descending commands to an insect leg controller network cause smooth behavioral transitions IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems. pp. 215-220.

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Biological inspiration has long been pursued as a key to more efficient, agile and elegant control in robotics. It has been a successful strategy in the design and control of robots with both biologically abstracted and biomimetic designs. Behavioral studies have resulted in a good understanding of the mechanics of certain animals. However, without a better understanding of their nervous systems, the biologically-inspired observation-based approach was limited. The findings of Hess and Büschges, and Ekeberg et al. describing the neural mechanisms of stick insect intra-leg joint coordination have made it possible to control models of insect legs with a network of neural pathways they found in the animal's thoracic ganglia. Our work with this model, further informed by cockroach neurobiological studies performed in the Ritzmann lab, has led to LegConNet (Leg Controller Network). In this paper we show that LegConNet controls the forward stepping motion of a robotic leg. With hypothesized additional pathways, some later confirmed by neurobiology, it can smoothly transition the leg from forward stepping to turning movements. We hypothesize that commands descending from a higher center in the nervous system inhibit or excite appropriate local neural pathways and change thresholds, which, in turn, create a cascade of reflexes resulting in behavioral transitions. © 2011 IEEE.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Surrey research (other units)
Authors :
Rutter, BL
Taylor, BK
Quinn, RD
Bender, JA
Ritzmann, RE
Blümel, M
Date : 2011
DOI : 10.1109/IROS.2011.6048679
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 17 May 2017 12:28
Last Modified : 24 Jan 2020 22:20

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