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Front Neurorobot 2019 Aug 23;13:104. doi: 10.3389/fnbot.2019.00104.
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Flexible Coordination of Flexible Limbs: Decentralized Control Scheme for Inter- and Intra-Limb Coordination in Brittle Stars'' Locomotion.

Kano T , Kanauchi D , Ono T , Aonuma H , Ishiguro A .

Conventional mobile robots have difficulties adapting to unpredictable environments or performing adequately after undergoing physical damages in realtime operation, unlike animals. We address this issue by focusing on brittle stars, an echinoderm related to starfish. Most brittle stars have five flexible arms, and they can coordinate among the arms (i.e., inter-arm coordination) as well as the many bodily degrees of freedom within each arm (i.e., intra-arm coordination). They can move in unpredictable environments while promptly adapting to those, and to their own physical damages (e.g., arm amputation). Our previous work focused on the inter-arm coordination by studying trimmed-arm brittle stars. Herein, we extend our previous work and propose a decentralized control mechanism that enables coupling between the inter-arm and intra-arm coordination. We demonstrate via simulations and real-world experiments with a brittle star-like robot that the behavior of brittle stars when they are intact and undergoing shortening or amputation of arms can be replicated.

PubMed ID: 31920614
PMC ID: PMC6923253
Article link: Front Neurorobot

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References [+] :
Arshavskiĭ, [Coordination of arm movement during locomotion in Ophiuroidea]. 1976, Pubmed, Echinobase