Generation of Locomotive Patterns and Self-Organization
Hideo Yuasa and Masami Ito
Nagoya University, Faculty of Engineering, 1 Furo-cho, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya, 464-01 Japan
Rhythmic movements of walking, swimming, etc. are controlled by mutually coupled endogenous neural oscillators. These rhythms coordinate one another to generate temporal and spatial moving patterns suitable for their environments and purposes. For example, a cat moves faster, the gait patterns change from “walk” to “trot”, and lastly to “gallop”. This moving pattern generator system can be regarded as one of the autonomous distributed systems which generates global patterns suitable for their environments and purposes. Using the bifurcation theory, it is possible to construct a system that suitably changes patterns discontinuously when a parameter changes continuously. This synthesis approach is applied to make a gait pattern generator system of a quadruped artificially. A gait pattern generator is constructed to couple four oscillators in which each oscillating state is regarded as each limb’s rhythmic motion. It is shown using computer simulations that the proposed system generates and changes patterns suitable for its moving speed; i.e. “walk”, “trot” and “gallop”.