Gait Adaptation in a Quadruped Robot

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A newborn foal can learn to walk soon after birth through a process of rapid adaptation acting on its locomotor controller. It is proposed here that this kind of adaptation can be modeled as a distributed system of adaptive modules (AMs) acting on a distributed system of adaptive oscillators called Adaptive Ring Rules (ARRs), augmented with appropriate and simple reflexes. It is shown that such a system can self-program through interaction with the environment. The adaptation emerges spontaneously as several discrete stages: Body twisting, short quick steps, and finally longer, coordinated stepping.This approach is demonstrated on a quadrupedal robot. The result is that the system can learn to walk several minutes after inception.

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