Biorobotics: Using robots to emulate and investigate agile animal locomotion
The graceful and agile movements of animals are difficult to analyze and emulate because locomotion is the result of a complex interplay of many components: the central and peripheral nervous systems, the musculoskeletal system, and the environment. The goals of biorobotics are to take inspiration from biological principles to design robots that match the agility of animals, and to use robots as scientific tools to investigate animal adaptive behavior. Used as physical models, biorobots contribute to hypothesis testing in fields such as hydrodynamics, biomechanics, neuroscience, and prosthetics. Their use may contribute to the design of prosthetic devices that more closely take human locomotion principles into account.