Tracking up to 64 points on the animal’s skeleton we were able to record 3–dimensional movements of bones in great detail. Using optimization on all the recorded postures for the three gaits we deduced the number and position of active and passive joints needed for the robot to reproduce the animal movements in reasonable accuracy in 3-dimensions.
By design, Pleurobot provides torque control for all the active joints, which enables us to apply our neural network models of the spinal cord neural circuits (called Central Pattern Generators) of the salamander and to activate virtual muscles to replicate the recorded animal movements along with realistic viscoelastic properties. This is particularly important in order to get a fundamental understanding of vertebrate motor control.
Our aim is to demonstrate how Pleurobot’s design methodology, along with recent methods for robotic production, may yield fast and cost effective platforms able to become a physical interface for:
- Biomechanists, functional morphologists and paleontologists
- Pleurobot Is an Eerily Lifelike Robotic Salamander (spectrum.ieee.org)