Autonomous Robots

, Volume 43, Issue 6, pp 1537–1554 | Cite as

Neuromuscular model achieving speed control and steering with a 3D bipedal walker

  • Nicolas Van der NootEmail author
  • Auke Jan Ijspeert
  • Renaud Ronsse


Nowadays, very few humanoid robots manage to travel in our daily environments. This is mainly due to their limited locomotion capabilities, far from the human ones. Recently, we developed a bio-inspired torque-based controller recruiting virtual muscles driven by reflexes and a central pattern generator. Straight walking experiments were obtained in a 3D simulation environment, resulting in the emergence of human-like and robust gait patterns, with speed modulation capabilities. In this paper, we extend this model, in order to control the steering direction and curvature. Based on human turning strategies, new control pathways are introduced and optimized to reach the sharpest possible turns. In sum, tele-operated motions can be achieved through the control of two scalar inputs (i.e. forward speed and heading). This is particularly relevant for steering the robot on-line, and navigating in cluttered environments. Finally, the biped demonstrated significant robustness during blind walking experiments.


Biologically-inspired robots Humanoid robots Legged robots Motion control Curved walking 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Research in Mechatronics, Institute of Mechanics, Materials and Civil EngineeringUniversité catholique de LouvainLouvain-la-NeuveBelgium
  2. 2.Biorobotics Laboratory, Institute of BioengineeringÉcole Polytechnique Fédérale de LausanneLausanneSwitzerland

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