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Templates and Anchors for Antenna-Based Wall Following in Cockroaches and Robots

Lee, Jusuk and Sponberg, Simon N. and Loh, Owen Y. and Lamperski, Andrew G. and Full, Robert J. and Cowan, Noah J. (2008) Templates and Anchors for Antenna-Based Wall Following in Cockroaches and Robots. IEEE Transactions on Robotics, 24 (1). pp. 130-143. ISSN 1552-3098.

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The interplay between robotics and neuromechanics facilitates discoveries in both fields: nature provides roboticists with design ideas, while robotics research elucidates critical features that confer performance advantages to biological systems. Here, we explore a system particularly well suited to exploit the synergies between biology and robotics: high-speed antenna-based wall following of the American cockroach (Periplaneta americana). Our approach integrates mathematical and hardware modeling with behavioral and neurophysiological experiments. Specifically, we corroborate a prediction from a previously reported wall-following template---the simplest model that captures a behavior---that a cockroach antenna-based controller requires the rate of approach to a wall in addition to distance, e.g., in the form of a proportional-derivative (PD) controller. Neurophysiological experiments reveal that important features of the wall-following controller emerge at the earliest stages of sensory processing, namely in the antennal nerve. Furthermore, we embed the template in a robotic platform outfitted with a bio-inspired antenna. Using this system, we successfully test specific PD gains (up to a scale) fitted to the cockroach behavioral data in a “real-world” setting, lending further credence to the surprisingly simple notion that a cockroach might implement a PD controller for wall following. Finally, we embed the template in a simulated lateral-leg-spring (LLS) model using the center of pressure as the control input. Importantly, the same PD gains fitted to cockroach behavior also stabilize wall following for the LLS model.

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Additional Information:© Copyright 2008 IEEE. Reprinted with permission. Manuscript received February 14, 2007; revised October 2, 2007. [Posted online: 2008-02-25] This paper was recommended for publication by Associate Editor P. Dario and Editor F. Park upon evaluation of the reviewers’ comments. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant 0543985. The work of S.N. Sponberg was supported by a Fannie and John Hertz Foundation Graduate Fellowship. The work of O.Y. Loh was supported by a John Hopkins University Provost’s Undergraduate Research Award. This paper was presented in part at the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB), San Diego, CA, January 4–8, 2005, in part at the SICB, Orlando, FL, January 4–8, 2006, in part at the IEEE Conference on Robotics and Automation, Barcelona, Spain, April 18–22, 2005, in part at the First Ruperto Carola Symposium on Fast Motions in Biomechanics and Robotics: Optimization and Feedback Control, Heidelberg, Germany, September 7–9, 2005, and in part at the IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, San Diego, CA, October 28–November 2, 2007. The authors thank B. Kutscher for help with software and hardware integration and J. Schmitt for providing insight into the LLS model. They also thank E. Roth, V. Kallem, E. Fortune, S. Carver, N. Keller, K. Canfield, and four anonymous biology and engineering reviewers for providing critical reviews of the manuscript. They would further like to thank Dr. A. Spence, E. Hebets, J. Miller, and A. Vaughan.
Subject Keywords:Bio-inspiration, biological system modeling, biomimicry, insect antenna, legged locomotion, wall following
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:LEEieeetr08
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:9952
Deposited By: Archive Administrator
Deposited On:28 Mar 2008
Last Modified:26 Dec 2012 09:54

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