Feathered Flyer: Integrating Morphological Computation and Sensory Reflexes into a Physically Simulated Flapping-Wing Robot for Robust Flight Manoeuvre

  • YoonSik Shim
  • Phil Husbands
Conference paper

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-540-74913-4_76

Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4648)
Cite this paper as:
Shim Y., Husbands P. (2007) Feathered Flyer: Integrating Morphological Computation and Sensory Reflexes into a Physically Simulated Flapping-Wing Robot for Robust Flight Manoeuvre. In: Almeida e Costa F., Rocha L.M., Costa E., Harvey I., Coutinho A. (eds) Advances in Artificial Life. ECAL 2007. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 4648. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg

Abstract

A new biologically inspired approach to a flapping wing controller which benefits from morphological computation and a Reflexive Pattern Generator (RPG) was tested using a simple physically simulated 3D flying robot. In order to tackle the difficulty of generating robust flapping flight and its manoeuvre, the robot employs simplified flexible “feathers” which are modelled as a series of subpanels attached to the wing skeleton using nonlinear angular springs. The neural controller receives sensory inputs from each feather to let them participate in pattern generation, the robot can also “feel” aerodynamic forces on its wings. From the synergy of flexible feathers and their sensory reflexes, the evolved robot exhibited flight manoeuvre using asymmetric wing movements as well as its tail, and rapidly adapted to external disturbances even in the absence of visual sensors. The reduced stiffness in flight control arising from the wing flexibility is discussed.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • YoonSik Shim
    • 1
  • Phil Husbands
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Computational Neuroscience and Robotics, University of Sussex, BN1 9QHUK

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