Auke Ijspeert: A robot that runs and swims like a salamander
Auke Ijspeert - Roboticist
Auke Ijspeert works at the intersection of robotics, biology and computational neuroscience. Full bio
to closely mimic a salamander species
why did we design this robot?
as a scientific tool for neuroscience.
together with neurobiologists
by animal locomotion.
or a cat running or jumping around,
a very, very complex control problem.
more or less 200 muscles perfectly,
we fall over or we do bad locomotion.
how this works.
behind animal locomotion.
already simplify locomotion in animals.
a sensorimotor coordination loop
and mechanical activity.
are central pattern generators.
in the spinal cord of vertebrate animals
rhythmic patterns of activity
only very simple input signals.
from higher parts of the brain,
the cerebellum, the basal ganglia,
of the spinal cord
just a low-level component,
of the locomotion problem.
that you can cut the head off a chicken,
spinal cord and body,
is very complex,
is very difficult.
in the motor cortex
because it's protected by the vertebrae.
is really due to a very complex
between these four components.
what's the role of each over time.
and mathematical models
of research in robotics
take inspiration from animals
or search and rescue robots
is to take inspiration from animals
complex terrain --
still have difficulties
can do a much better job.
scientific tool as well.
where robots are used,
for biomechanics or for hydrodynamics.
the purpose of Pleurobot.
is to collaborate with neurobiologists
a neurobiologist in Bordeaux in France,
and validate them on robots.
very primitive fish,
go toward more complex locomotion,
an interesting tool
is a kind of dream becoming true.
I was already working on a computer
and salamander locomotion
were just approximations.
or with mud or with complex ground,
properly on a computer.
and real physics?
one of my favorites is the salamander.
and it's because as an amphibian,
from an evolutionary point of view.
as you see in mammals, in cats and humans.
an anguilliform swimming gait,
of muscle activity from head to tail.
the salamander on the ground,
a walking trot gait.
periodic activation of the limbs
undulation of the body,
that you are seeing here on Pleurobot.
and fascinating in fact
just by the spinal cord and the body.
a decerebrated salamander --
but you remove the head --
stimulate the spinal cord,
this will induce a walking-like gait.
the gait accelerates.
the animal switches to swimming.
to your spinal cord,
between two very different gaits.
has been observed in cats.
walk, trot and gallop.
switch between walking,
at high-level stimulation.
in more detail,
to a very nice X-ray video machine
in Jena University in Germany.
you really have an amazing machine
in great detail.
which bones are important for us
a whole database of motions,
of motor behaviors
was to replicate that in our robot.
to find out the right structure,
how to connect them together,
these motions as well as possible.
it is to the real animal.
is almost a direct comparison
of the real animal and the Pleurobot.
almost a one-to-one exact replay
you see it even better.
that we put all over the robot --
and start replaying the swimming gaits.
because this is difficult to do.
than a small animal,
dynamic scaling of the frequencies
the same interaction physics.
we have a very close match,
with Jean-Marie Cabelguen
is that the salamander
to the one we find in the lamprey,
have been added to control the limbs,
these neural oscillators are
a mathematical model
between the two very different gaits.
is a previous version of Pleurobot
by our spinal cord model
through a remote control
it normally should receive
by playing with these signals,
speed, heading and type of gait.
we have the walking gait,
to the swimming gait.
do turning very nicely
of the spinal cord than the other.
to the spinal cord
doesn't need to worry about every muscle.
about this high-level modulation,
to coordinate all the muscles.
and the importance of biomechanics.
the morphology helps locomotion.
criteria in the properties,
like a pantograph-like structure.
and the lower segments always parallel.
that kind of coordinates a bit
is that they are very lightweight.
because then the limbs have low inertia
very elastic behavior of the cat limb,
who does his PhD on this robot,
as a scientific tool
of the legs of the cat.
and it will not break.
is also very important.
of the leg as pantograph.
is that this quite dynamic gait
no complex feedback loops.
already stabilized this quite rapid gait,
already basically simplify locomotion.
disturb a bit locomotion,
where we have the robot go down a step,
to immediately fall over,
no fast feedback loop.
stabilized the gait,
and if you have obstacles,
and reflexes and everything.
is that just for small perturbation,
a very important message
the body already helps locomotion.
to human locomotion?
than cat and salamander locomotion,
of humans is very similar
for locomotion in humans.
of the spinal cord,
paraplegic or tetraplegic.
loses this communication
this descending modulation
in the world that do exactly that,
and Silvestro Micera,
it's very important to understand
communicates with the spinal cord.
and models that I've presented today
in your lab other robots
like a side project,
to do search and rescue inspection,
if you have a difficult situation
or a building that is flooded,
for a rescue team or even rescue dogs,
that can crawl around, swim, walk,
to do inspection and identify survivors
a communication link with the survivor.
don't get scared by the shape of this.
change the appearance quite a bit,
might die of a heart attack
that this would feed on you.
and it making it more robust,
a good tool out of it.
Thank you and your team.
About the speaker:Auke Ijspeert - Roboticist
Auke Ijspeert works at the intersection of robotics, biology and computational neuroscience.
Why you should listen
Auke Ijspeert is an associate professor at the EPFL (the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology at Lausanne), and head of the Biorobotics Laboratory (BioRob). He has a BSc/MSc in Physics from the EPFL and a PhD in artificial intelligence from the University of Edinburgh, with John Hallam and David Willshaw as advisors. He carried out postdocs at IDSIA and EPFL with Jean-Daniel Nicoud and Luca Gambardella, and at the University of Southern California, with Michael Arbib and Stefan Schaal.
Ijspeert is interested in using numerical simulations and robots to get a better understanding of animal locomotion and movement control, and in using inspiration from biology to design novel types of robots and locomotion controllers.
Auke Ijspeert | Speaker | TED.com