Walking with perturbations: a guide for biped humans and robots
SourceBioinspiration & Biomimetics, 13, 6, (2018), pp. 061001, article 061001
Article / Letter to editor
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Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
SubjectRadboudumc 3: Disorders of movement DCMN: Donders Center for Medical Neuroscience
This paper provides an update on the neural control of bipedal walking in relation to bioinspired models and robots. It is argued that most current models or robots are based on the construct of a symmetrical central pattern generator (CPG). However, new evidence suggests that CPG functioning is basically asymmetrical with its flexor half linked more tightly to the rhythm generator. The stability of bipedal gait, which is an important problem for robots and biological systems, is also addressed. While it is not possible to determine how biological biped systems guarantee stability, robot solutions can be useful to propose new hypotheses for biology. In the second part of this review, the focus is on gait perturbations, which is an important topic in robotics in view of the frequent falls of robots when faced with perturbations. From the human physiology it is known that the initial reaction often consists of a brief interruption followed by an adequate response. For instance, the successful recovery from a trip is achieved using some basic reactions (termed elevating and lowering strategies), that depend on the phase of the step cycle of the trip occurrence. Reactions to stepping unexpectedly in a hole depend on comparing expected and real feedback. Implementation of these ideas in models and robotics starts to emerge, with the most advanced robots being able to learn how to fall safely and how to deal with complicated disturbances such as provided by walking on a split-belt.
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