Motion Hacking – Understanding by Controlling Animals –
Dai Owaki* and Volker Dürr**
*Department of Robotics, Graduate School of Engineering, Tohoku University
6-6-01 Aoba, Aramaki, Aoba-ku, Sendai, Miyagi 980-8579, Japan
**Department of Biological Cybernetics, Faculty of Biology, Bielefeld University
25 Universitätsstr, Bielefeld D-33615, Germany
Insects exhibit resilient and flexible capabilities allowing them to adapt their walk in response to changes of the environment or body properties, for example the loss of a leg. While the motor control paradigm governing inter-leg coordination has been extensively studied in the past for such adaptive walking, the neural mechanism remains unknown. To overcome this situation, the project “Motion Hacking” develops a method for hacking leg movements by electrostimulating leg muscles while retaining the natural sensorimotor functions of the insect. This research aims to elucidate the flexible inter-leg coordination mechanism underlying insect walking by observing the adapting process of inter-leg coordination with the insect nervous system when leg movements are externally controlled via motion hacking.
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