Review of Anthropomorphic Head Stabilisation and Verticality Estimation in Robots

  • Ildar Farkhatdinov
  • Hannah Michalska
  • Alain Berthoz
  • Vincent Hayward
Part of the Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics book series (STAR, volume 124)


In many walking, running, flying, and swimming animals, including mammals, reptiles, and birds, the vestibular system plays a central role for verticality estimation and is often associated with a head stabilisation (in rotation) behaviour. Head stabilisation, in turn, subserves gaze stabilisation, postural control, visual-vestibular information fusion and spatial awareness via the active establishment of a quasi-inertial frame of reference. Head stabilisation helps animals to cope with the computational consequences of angular movements that complicate the reliable estimation of the vertical direction. We suggest that this strategy could also benefit free-moving robotic systems, such as locomoting humanoid robots, which are typically equipped with inertial measurements units. Free-moving robotic systems could gain the full benefits of inertial measurements if the measurement units are placed on independently orientable platforms, such as a human-like heads. We illustrate these benefits by analysing recent humanoid robots design and control approaches.



I. Farkhatdinov was supported by a fellowship from Ecole Doctorale, Sciences Mécaniques, Acoustique, Electronique et Robotique de Paris (UPMC). Additional funding was provided by the European Research Council, Advanced Grant PATCH, agreement No. 247300 and EU FP7 BALANCE (ICT-601003).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ildar Farkhatdinov
    • 1
    • 2
  • Hannah Michalska
    • 3
  • Alain Berthoz
    • 4
  • Vincent Hayward
    • 5
  1. 1.School of Electronic Engineering and Computer ScienceQueen Mary University of LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Department of BioengineeringImperial College LondonLondonUK
  3. 3.McGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  4. 4.Collège de FranceParisFrance
  5. 5.Sorbonne Universités, Institut des Systèmes Intelligents et de Robotique, ISIRParisFrance

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