Bio-inspired Adaptive Locomotion Control System for Online Adaptation of a Walking Robot on Complex Terrains
Developing a controller that enables a walking robot to autonomously adapt its locomotion to navigate unknown complex terrains is difficult, and the methods developed to address this problem typically require robot kinematics with arduous parameter tuning or machine learning techniques that require several trials or repetitions. To overcome this limitation, in this paper, we present continuous, online, and self-adaptive locomotion control inspired by biological control systems, including neural
... s, including neural control and hormone systems. The control approach integrates our existing modular neural locomotion control (MNLC) and a newly introduced artificial hormone mechanism (AHM). While the MNLC can generate various gaits through its modulatory input, the AHM, which replicates the endocrine system, adapts to rapid changes in online walking frequency and gait in response to different complex terrains. The control approach is evaluated on an insect-like hexapod robot with 18 degrees of freedom. We provide the results in three sections. First, we demonstrate the adaptability of the robot with the proposed artificial hormones. Second, we compare the performance of two robots with and without artificial hormones while walking on different complex terrains using three performance indexes (stability, harmony, and displacement). Third, we evaluate real-time online adaptations in the real world through real robot walking on different unknown terrains. The experimental results demonstrate that the robot with the proposed artificial hormones does not require several learning trials to adapt its locomotion. Instead, it can continuously adapt its locomotion online, thereby providing greater success and higher performance than other techniques when walking on all terrains.