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CPU-less robotics: distributed control of biomorphs

Etienne-Cummings, Ralph and Lewis, M. Anthony and Hartmann, Mitra and Cohen, Avis H. (2000) CPU-less robotics: distributed control of biomorphs. In: Critical Technologies for the Future of Computing. Proceedings of SPIE. No.4109. Society of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) , Bellingham, WA, pp. 83-91. ISBN 9780819437549.

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Traditional robotics revolves around the microprocessor. All well-known demonstrations of sensory guided motor control, such as jugglers and mobile robots, require at least one CPU. Recently, the availability of fast CPUs have made real-time sensory-motor control possible, however, problems with high power consumption and lack of autonomy still remain. In fact, the best examples of real-time robotics are usually tethered or require large batteries. We present a new paradigm for robotics control that uses no explicit CPU. We use computational sensors that are directly interfaced with adaptive actuation units. The units perform motor control and have learning capabilities. This architecture distributes computation over the entire body of the robot, in every sensor and actuator. Clearly, this is similar to biological sensory- motor systems. Some researchers have tried to model the latter in software, again using CPUs. We demonstrate this idea in with an adaptive locomotion controller chip. The locomotory controller for walking, running, swimming and flying animals is based on a Central Pattern Generator (CPG). CPGs are modeled as systems of coupled non-linear oscillators that control muscles responsible for movement. Here we describe an adaptive CPG model, implemented in a custom VLSI chip, which is used to control an under-actuated and asymmetric robotic leg.

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Additional Information:© 2000 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). The authors acknowledge support of Grant No. N00014-99-0984 from ONR to Lewis & Etienne-Cumnungs, NSF Career Grant #9896362 to Etienne-Cummings and NIH grant MH44809 to Cohen.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Office of Naval Research (ONR)N00014-99-0984
Subject Keywords:Central Pattern Generation, Biomorphic Robots, VLSI Locomotion Controller, Legged Locomotion
Series Name:Proceedings of SPIE
Issue or Number:4109
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20181204-132726502
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Official Citation:Ralph Etienne-Cummings, M. Anthony Lewis, Mitra Hartmann, Avis H. Cohen, "CPU-less robotics: distributed control of biomorphs", Proc. SPIE 4109, Critical Technologies for the Future of Computing, (17 November 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.409207;
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:91488
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:05 Dec 2018 16:48
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 20:35

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