Student project

Implementation of a Human Feedback-based Locomotion and its Control by means of a Feedforward Component inspired by Central Pattern Generators

Walking gaits of various animals have been modeled using this framework of differential equations, and more specifically, using network of coupled oscillators or CPG (Central Pattern Generators). In these models, oscillators are coupled among themselves and thus influence each other. Nerve signals generating swimming in the Lampreys have been modeled using such a system. These oscillatory networks were successfully used to model several swimming animals. However, results obtained with walking animals have been rather disappointing. This is not surprising, since CPGs does not take into account interaction with the environment for shaping the movement, which seems to be more important for walking animals. In this project we study the interaction between feedback and CPGs in humans using a bio-inspired musculoskeletal model of human walking. We start with a pure feedback based model of human walking and extend it by introducing a feedforward component inspired by CPGs. We then test the properties of such a hybrid feedback and feedforward system. We show that, not only those new models are stable with characteristics close to the original model, but with online control they showed a clear increase of the robustness compared to pure feedback model. Moreover, modifications of some general parameters of the feedforward component allow easy changes in gait characteristics, such as gait speed.

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