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Adapting Highly-Dynamic Compliant Movements to Changing Environments: A Benchmark Comparison of Reflex- vs. CPG-Based Control Strategies

Schmidt, Annika and Feldotto, Benedikt and Gumpert, Thomas and Seidel, Daniel and Albu-Schäffer, Alin Olimpiu and Stratmann, Philipp (2021) Adapting Highly-Dynamic Compliant Movements to Changing Environments: A Benchmark Comparison of Reflex- vs. CPG-Based Control Strategies. Frontiers in Neurorobotics, 15, p. 169. Frontiers Media S.A.. doi: 10.3389/fnbot.2021.762431. ISSN 1662-5218.

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Official URL: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnbot.2021.762431/full


To control highly-dynamic compliant motions such as running or hopping, vertebrates rely on reflexes and Central Pattern Generators (CPGs) as core strategies. However, decoding how much each strategy contributes to the control and how they are adjusted under different conditions is still a major challenge. To help solve this question, the present paper provides a comprehensive comparison of reflexes, CPGs and a commonly used combination of the two applied to a biomimetic robot. It leverages recent findings indicating that in mammals both control principles act within a low-dimensional control submanifold. This substantially reduces the search space of parameters and enables the quantifiable comparison of the different control strategies. The chosen metrics are motion stability and energy efficiency, both key aspects for the evolution of the central nervous system. We find that neither for stability nor energy efficiency it is favorable to apply the state-of-the-art approach of a continuously feedback-adapted CPG. In both aspects, a pure reflex is more effective, but the pure CPG allows easy signal alteration when needed. Additionally, the hardware experiments clearly show that the shape of a control signal has a strong influence on energy efficiency, while previous research usually only focused on frequency alignment. Both findings suggest that currently used methods to combine the advantages of reflexes and CPGs can be improved. In future research, possible combinations of the control strategies should be reconsidered, specifically including the modulation of the control signal's shape. For this endeavor, the presented setup provides a valuable benchmark framework to enable the quantitative comparison of different bioinspired control principles.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/147794/
Document Type:Article
Title:Adapting Highly-Dynamic Compliant Movements to Changing Environments: A Benchmark Comparison of Reflex- vs. CPG-Based Control Strategies
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Schmidt, AnnikaUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-4718-4201UNSPECIFIED
Seidel, DanielUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-2240-3850UNSPECIFIED
Albu-Schäffer, Alin OlimpiuUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-5343-9074142115887
Stratmann, PhilippUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-6791-9159UNSPECIFIED
Date:December 2021
Journal or Publication Title:Frontiers in Neurorobotics
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:p. 169
EditorsEmailEditor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Röhrbein, FlorianUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-4709-2673UNSPECIFIED
Publisher:Frontiers Media S.A.
Keywords:robotics, stability, energy efficiency, bioinspired control, feedback, performance metric
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Robotics
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R RO - Robotics
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Walking robot/locomotion [RO]
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics (since 2013)
Deposited By: Schmidt, Annika
Deposited On:20 Dec 2021 10:22
Last Modified:11 Sep 2023 13:24

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