Biological Cybernetics

, Volume 108, Issue 3, pp 291–303 | Cite as

Multi-layered multi-pattern CPG for adaptive locomotion of humanoid robots

  • John NassourEmail author
  • Patrick Hénaff
  • Fethi Benouezdou
  • Gordon Cheng
Original Paper


In this paper, we present an extended mathematical model of the central pattern generator (CPG) in the spinal cord. The proposed CPG model is used as the underlying low-level controller of a humanoid robot to generate various walking patterns. Such biological mechanisms have been demonstrated to be robust in locomotion of animal. Our model is supported by two neurophysiological studies. The first study identified a neural circuitry consisting of a two-layered CPG, in which pattern formation and rhythm generation are produced at different levels. The second study focused on a specific neural model that can generate different patterns, including oscillation. This neural model was employed in the pattern generation layer of our CPG, which enables it to produce different motion patterns—rhythmic as well as non-rhythmic motions. Due to the pattern-formation layer, the CPG is able to produce behaviors related to the dominating rhythm (extension/flexion) and rhythm deletion without rhythm resetting. The proposed multi-layered multi-pattern CPG model (MLMP-CPG) has been deployed in a 3D humanoid robot (NAO) while it performs locomotion tasks. The effectiveness of our model is demonstrated in simulations and through experimental results.


Central pattern generator Robot locomotion Humanoid walking 

Supplementary material

Supplementary material 1 (mp4 4221 KB)

Supplementary material 2 (avi 11440 KB)

Supplementary material 3 (mp4 6429 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Nassour
    • 1
    Email author
  • Patrick Hénaff
    • 2
  • Fethi Benouezdou
    • 3
  • Gordon Cheng
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Cognitive Systems (ICS)Technical University of Munich (TUM)MunichGermany
  2. 2.LORIA, UMR 7503, University of Lorraine-INRIA-CNRSUniversity of LorraineNancyFrance
  3. 3.The Engineering System Laboratory (LISV)Versailles University (UVSQ)VersaillesFrance

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