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Review ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Neurorobot. | doi: 10.3389/fnbot.2019.00088

Integrative Biomimetics of Autonomous Hexapedal Locomotion

 Volker Dürr1, 2*, Paolo P. Arena3,  Holk Cruse1, 2, Chris J. Dallmann1, 2,  Thierry Hoinville1, 2, Tammo Krause4,  Alin Drimus5,  Stefan Matefi-Tempfli5, Jan Paskarbeit2, 6,  Luca Patanè3, Mattias Schaeffersmann6,  Malte Schilling2, 7, Josef Schmitz1, 2,  Strauss Roland4, Leslie M. Theunissen1, 2,  Alessandra Vitanza3 and  Axel Schneider2, 6
  • 1Faculty of Biology, Department of Biological Cybernetics, Bielefeld University, Germany
  • 2Cluster of Excellence Cognitive Interaction Technology (CITEC), Bielefeld University, Germany
  • 3Dipartimento di Ingegneria Elettrica Elettronica e Informatica, University of Catania, Italy
  • 4Institut für Entwicklungsbiologie und Neurobiologie, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany
  • 5Mads Clausen Institute, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark
  • 6Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences, Germany
  • 7Technical Faculty, Department of Neuroinformatics, Bielefeld University, Germany

Despite substantial advances in many different fields of neurorobotics in general, and biomimetic robots in particular, a key challenge is the integration of concepts: to collate and combine research on disparate and conceptually disjunct research areas in the neurosciences and engineering sciences. We claim that the development of suitable robotic integration platforms is of particular relevance to make such integration of concepts work in practice. Here we provide an example for a hexapod robotic integration platform for autonomous locomotion. In a sequence of six focus sections dealing with aspects of intelligent, embodied motor control in insects and multipedal robots - ranging from compliant actuation, distributed proprioception and control of multiple legs, the formation of internal representations to the use of an internal body model - we introduce the walking robot HECTOR as a research platform for integrative biomimetics of hexapedal locomotion. Owing to its 18 highly sensorised, compliant actuators, light-weight exoskeleton, distributed and expandable hardware architecture, and an appropriate dynamic simulation framework, HECTOR offers many opportunities to integrate research effort across biomimetics research on actuation, sensory-motor feedback, inter-leg coordination, and cognitive abilities such as motion planning and learning of its own body size.

Keywords: motor control,, insect, Walking, Compliance, Leg coordination, Proprioception, Load sensing, internal model, motor learning

Received: 09 Jul 2019; Accepted: 07 Oct 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Dürr, Arena, Cruse, Dallmann, Hoinville, Krause, Drimus, Matefi-Tempfli, Paskarbeit, Patanè, Schaeffersmann, Schilling, Schmitz, Roland, Theunissen, Vitanza and Schneider. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Volker Dürr, Bielefeld University, Faculty of Biology, Department of Biological Cybernetics, Bielefeld, D-33615, Germany,