A Conserved Biomimetic Control Architecture for Walking, Swimming and Flying Robots

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7375)


Simple animals adapt with impunity to the most challenging of conditions without training or supervision. Their behavioral repertoire is organized into a layered set of exteroceptive reflexes that can operate in parallel and form sequences in response to affordances of the environment. We have developed a common architecture that captures these underlying mechanisms for implementation in engineered devices. The architecture instantiates the underlying networks with discrete time map-based neurons and synapses on a sequential processor. A common board set instantiates releasing mechanisms, command neurons, coordinating neurons, central pattern generators, and reflex functions that are programmed as networks rather than as algorithms. Layered exteroceptive reflexes mediate heading control, impediment compensation, obstacle negotiation, rheotaxis, docking, and odometry and can be adapted to a variety of robotic platforms. We present the implementation of this architecture for three locomotory modes: swimming, walking, and flying.


robotics biomimetics electronic nervous system exteroceptive reflex 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Northeastern University Marine Science CenterNahantUSA

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