Control of Hexapod Walking in Biological Systems

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To investigate walking we perform experimental studies on animals in parallel with software and hardware simulations of the control structures and the body to be controlled. In this paper, we will first describe the basic behavioral properties of hexapod walking, as the are known from stick insects. Then we describe a simple neural network called Walknet which exemplifies these properties and also shows some interesting emergent properties. The latter arise mainly from the use of the physical properties to simplify explicit calculations. The model is simple, too, because it uses only static neuronal units. The system is currently tested using an adapted version of the robot TARRY II.