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IMA Workshop
Animal Locomotion and Robotics
June 1-5, 1998


Organizers:

James Collins, Chair
Martin Golubitsky
Daniel Koditschek

Participants

Legged animals typically employ multiple gaits, i.e., phase-locked patterns of limb movements, for terrestrial locomotion. The control of animal locomotion involves a central pattern generator (CPG), which is an intraspinal network of neurons capable of producing rhythmic output. Over the past few decades, mathematicians and engineers have become increasingly interested in animal gaits and locomotor CPGs. This interest has largely been motivated by the need for developing control systems for multi-legged robots. Machines capable of legged locomotion are an attractive option, because they can be used to explore rough and uneven terrain, which is often inaccessible to wheeled vehicles. However, the control of such devices, and in particular the coordination of a large number of legs, poses a difficult technical problem. Engineers and mathematicians have increasingly turned to biology for inspiration, on the assumption that biological evolution has led to optimally-designed control mechanisms for legged locomotion. In this area, contemporary topics of interest include:

  1. the role of symmetry and symmetry-breaking in the generation and control of gait patterns

  2. the relationship between gait transitions and bifurcations of various kinds

  3. coupled nonlinear oscillators and locomotor CPGs

  4. the stability of various gait patterns and their associated phase-locked oscillation patterns

  5. design and control issues for ``statically-stable" versus ``dynamically-stable" legged robots

  6. the effects of noise, feedback gains, and control-loop time delays on the stability of gait patterns

  7. emergent dynamics arising from the interactions between neural (electronic) elements, mechanical elements, and the environment

  8. design and control issues for microrobots

  9. "top-down" versus "bottom-up" approaches to the control of legged robots

  10. "passive" versus ``active" control of legged robots

  11. hierarchical control of locomotion

Click on the titles to find abstracts and/or links to presentation materials

SCHEDULE for MONDAY, JUNE 1
W. Miller, F. Dulles,
J. Collins
Welcome and Orientation
CPG/Oscillators
Sten Grillner,
Nobel Institute for Neurophysiology
The Neuronal Network Underlying Locomotion in Lamprey - Intrinsic Function and Forebrain Control
Philip Holmes,
Princeton University
Simple Models of Excitable Oscillators And CPGs
P. S. Krishnaprasad,
University of Maryland
Oscillations and Motion On Lie Groups
Panel Discussion,
James Collins (Boston University), Chair
CPG/Oscillators
IMA Tea  
SCHEDULE for TUESDAY, JUNE 2
Symmetry/Bifurcation
Joel Burdick,
California Institute of Technology
Controllability and Trajectory Planning for Biomimetic Locomotion
Ian Stewart,
University of Warwick
Legged Locomotion from the Symmetry Viewpoint
Jill Whitall,
University of Maryland-Baltimore
Symmetry, Asymmetry, Bifurcations and Intention in Human Locomotion
Panel Discussion,
James Collins, Chair
Symmetry/Bifurcation
SCHEDULE for WEDNESDAY, JUNE 3
Neuro-mechanical Issues
Martin Buehler,
McGill University
Robots with Simple Legs
Fred Delcomyn,
University of Illinois
Hexapod walking: From Reality to Simulation
Steve Epstein & Nancy Kopell,
Boston University
Resonance Tuning Revisited
Panel Discussion,
James Collins, Chair
Neuro-mechanical Issues
Workshop Dinner  
SCHEDULE for THURSDAY, JUNE 4
Mechanics
Robert Full,
University of California-Berkeley
Neuromechanics of Self-Stabilization and Maneuverability in Polypeds
Andy Ruina & Arthur Kuo,
Cornell Univ./Univ. of Michgan
Passive Walking and Pendual: What Can You Do With Mechanics and Feedback, and Why Do You Need a Clock?
Jerry Marsden,
California Institute of Technology
Lagrangian Reduction and the Falling Cat Theorem
Panel Discussion,
James Collins, Chair
Mechanics
SCHEDULE for FRIDAY, JUNE 5
Control
Randall D. Beer,
Case Western Reserve University
Design, Evolution and Analysis of Biologically-Inspired Control Systems for Walking
Trevor Drew,
University of Montreal
Supraspinal Control Mechanisms Responsible for the Regulation of Locomotion in the Cat
Daniel Koditschek,
University of Michigan
Workshop Summary

 

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1997-1998 Emerging Applications of Dynamical Systems

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