Using Marker-Based Motion Capture to Develop a Head Bobbing Robotic Lizard

  • Anna FrohnwieserEmail author
  • Alexander P. Willmott
  • John C. Murray
  • Thomas W. Pike
  • Anna WilkinsonEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9825)


Robotic animals are regularly used in behavioral experiments, typically in experimental interactions with individuals of the species they were modelled on. In order to do so successfully, these robots need to be designed carefully, taking into consideration the specific perceptual system of the model species. We used marker-based motion capture to measure head bobbing in a widely popular lizard species, bearded dragons, and found that head bobbing is highly stereotypic yet differs subtly when displayed towards males and females. These results were then used for the construction of a robotic lizard, with the aim to use it in behavioral and cognitive studies, focusing on social cognition. This is the first study to use motion capture of head bobbing in lizards to inform the design of a robotic animal.


Motion capture Robotic lizard Bearded dragon Head bobbing 



The authors would like to thank Franky Mulloy, Joe Moore, Anthony Gorman and Sophie Moszuti for their help with data recording; Suzie Li Wan Po, Meredith Tise, Annali Beese, Matthew Walker and Manuel Jara for their involvement with creating the models and robot; and Dawn Simpson, Emma Huntbach and Hannah Thompson for animal care; and three anonymous reviewers for valuable input.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Life SciencesUniversity of LincolnLincolnUK
  2. 2.School of Sport and Exercise ScienceUniversity of LincolnLincolnUK
  3. 3.School of Computer ScienceUniversity of LincolnLincolnUK

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