Compliant control for soft robots: Emergent behavior of a tendon driven anthropomorphic arm Conference Paper


Author(s): Martius, Georg; Hostettler, Raphael; Knoll, Alois; Der, Ralf
Title: Compliant control for soft robots: Emergent behavior of a tendon driven anthropomorphic arm
Affiliation IST Austria
Abstract: With the accelerated development of robot technologies, optimal control becomes one of the central themes of research. In traditional approaches, the controller, by its internal functionality, finds appropriate actions on the basis of the history of sensor values, guided by the goals, intentions, objectives, learning schemes, and so forth. While very successful with classical robots, these methods run into severe difficulties when applied to soft robots, a new field of robotics with large interest for human-robot interaction. We claim that a novel controller paradigm opens new perspective for this field. This paper applies a recently developed neuro controller with differential extrinsic synaptic plasticity to a muscle-tendon driven arm-shoulder system from the Myorobotics toolkit. In the experiments, we observe a vast variety of self-organized behavior patterns: when left alone, the arm realizes pseudo-random sequences of different poses. By applying physical forces, the system can be entrained into definite motion patterns like wiping a table. Most interestingly, after attaching an object, the controller gets in a functional resonance with the object's internal dynamics, starting to shake spontaneously bottles half-filled with water or sensitively driving an attached pendulum into a circular mode. When attached to the crank of a wheel the neural system independently develops to rotate it. In this way, the robot discovers affordances of objects its body is interacting with.
Keywords: Control systems; Muscles; Robot kinematics; Robot sensing systems; Springs; Tendons
Conference Title: IEEE RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems IROS
Conference Dates: October 9-14, 2016
Conference Location: Daejeon, Korea
Publisher: IEEE  
Date Published: 2016-10-01
Start Page: 767
End Page: 773
DOI: 10.1109/IROS.2016.7759138
Notes: RD thanks for the hospitality at the Max-Planck-Institute and for helpful discussions with Nihat Ay and Keyan Zahedi.
Open access: no
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