Salamandra robotica II – Robo-Lurchi aus der Schweiz

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YouTube: Salamandra Robotica II Robot Walking and Swimming (via technabob)

Ein Robo-Lurchi aus der Schweiz, dessen Bewegungsapparat über ein neuronales Netz in seinem „Rückenmark“ gesteuert wird. Entwickelt wurde der Salamandra robotica II im Biorobotics Laboratory der Eidgenössischen Technischen Hochschule Lausanne. Mir persönlich lieber, als das durchgeknallte Maultier neulich…

Compared to its predecessor Salamandra robotica, the new robot swims more than twice as fast, is equiped with foldable limbs, and embarks more powerful microcontrollers that allow distributed computation of our models of spinal cord neural networks as well as the simulation of muscle properties. It is one of the few robots, if not the only one, that can swim, crawl, and walk. Its modular design allow us to rapidly change its morphology (e.g. make it longer, add or remove legs, etc.). Also its modularity means that each module has its own microcontroller, battery, and motors, and therefore we can split the robot in different parts and it would still work. This can have interesting implications in terms of robustness against damage. For instance, the robot could loose parts of its body and still be able to walk … The primary purpose of this robot is to serve as a scientific tool to test hypotheses about the neural circuits underlying locomotion in the spinal cord of vertebrate animals. For this, we work with neurobiologists … and make models of the central pattern generators that are known to control locomotion in vertebrate animals. These sophisticated circuits can produce complex locomotor patterns while receiving only simple command signals from upper parts of the brain.

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