Robotics is predicted to be the next big step in the digital revolution. Therefore, Europe should keep a globally leading position in this much promising arena. One problem in robotics is that state-of-the-art humanoids still cannot stand ground in environments that we humans easily confront. Our proposal deals with the challenging solution of replicating the adaptability and flexibility of human motor control. Here we propose a specific robotics implementation of our bio-inspired Intermittent Control (IC) model and argue that this is a valuable element missing from current robotic schemes. In tasks such as human standing, the neuro-muscular-skeletal system uses sensory information to regulate its motor output and provide for both stability of important performance variables and flexibility of motor patterns to deal with possible perturbations or secondary tasks. We propose that, fundamentally, this process is one of convergence. We provided experimental evidence showing that balance control in humans is highly consistent with a limiting serial process along a converging single channel which is expressed formally in the IC paradigm. Our general strategy is to investigate and validate the IC model in a staged robotics context (simulation, test bed implementation, validation in existing humanoids). Through the fellowship the field of robotics will be significantly enriched with cross-disciplinary knowledge that is instrumental for the development of human-inspired control architectures. To assess if the design of autonomous robots will beneﬁt from a control architecture including an IC module we will systematically analyse the stability and convergence of the proposed control method. This project will put the applicant in a perfect position to gain specific knowledge and skills to investigate and valorise the innovative ‘robotICs’ concept, which might bring Europe to the next stage of developing marketable bionic robots.
Fields of science
Call for proposal
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