Biologically-Inspired Control of a Compliant Anthropomimetic Robot

V. Potkonjak, B. Svetozarevic, K. Jovanovic (Serbia), and O. Holland (UK)


Biomimetic robotics, control, dynamics, simulation.


Anthropomimetics – copying nature in order to construct and control similar mechanism in technical world – is an increasingly attractive research topic. Its core objective is achieving human efficiency in the aspects of technical world where engineering still cannot compete biology (diversity of motions, manoeuvrability, etc). This paper attempts to develop the appropriate dynamic model and design control for an anthropomimetic humanoid – ECCEROBOT. Robot has a human-like mechanical structure – skeleton. To mimic muscles, robot joints are driven by antagonistically coupled DC motors with tendons. Since the robot is expected to work in a human centered environment and in the presence of humans, an important accent is given to the safe interaction with the surrounding. To resolve the safety, robot involves passive mechanical compliance – elastic springs in tendons. The paper derives the mathematical model of robot dynamics, designed for simulation. The control of antagonistic drives is based on a biologically inspired puller-and follower concept where the puller is responsible for joint motion while the follower keeps the inactive tendon from slackening. The advanced theory of nonlinear control was used for particular joints and the theory of robustness was necessary for applying the control to multi-joint robot body.

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