Kick control : using the attracting states arising within the sensorimotor loop of self-organized robots as motor primitives

  • Self-organized robots may develop attracting states within the sensorimotor loop, that is within the phase space of neural activity, body and environmental variables. Fixpoints, limit cycles and chaotic attractors correspond in this setting to a non-moving robot, to directed, and to irregular locomotion respectively. Short higher-order control commands may hence be used to kick the system from one self-organized attractor robustly into the basin of attraction of a different attractor, a concept termed here as kick control. The individual sensorimotor states serve in this context as highly compliant motor primitives. We study different implementations of kick control for the case of simulated and real-world wheeled robots, for which the dynamics of the distinct wheels is generated independently by local feedback loops. The feedback loops are mediated by rate-encoding neurons disposing exclusively of propriosensoric inputs in terms of projections of the actual rotational angle of the wheel. The changes of the neural activity are then transmitted into a rotational motion by a simulated transmission rod akin to the transmission rods used for steam locomotives. We find that the self-organized attractor landscape may be morphed both by higher-level control signals, in the spirit of kick control, and by interacting with the environment. Bumping against a wall destroys the limit cycle corresponding to forward motion, with the consequence that the dynamical variables are then attracted in phase space by the limit cycle corresponding to backward moving. The robot, which does not dispose of any distance or contact sensors, hence reverses direction autonomously.

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Author:Bulcsú Sándor, Michael Nowak, Tim Koglin, Laura Martin, Claudius GrosORCiDGND
Pubmed Id:
Parent Title (English):Frontiers in neurorobotics
Publisher:Frontiers Research Foundation
Place of publication:Lausanne
Contributor(s):Manfred Hild
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2018
Date of first Publication:2018/07/11
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2018/10/30
Tag:closed-loop robots; compliant robot; limit cycles; robophysics; self-organized locomotion; sensorimotor loop
Issue:Art. 40
Page Number:11
First Page:1
Last Page:11
Copyright © 2018 Sándor, Nowak, Koglin, Martin and Gros. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Institutes:Physik / Physik
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 53 Physik / 530 Physik
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0