Supplementary material for:
Abstract: With the accelerated development of robot technologies, optimal control becomes one of the central themes of research. In traditional approaches, the controller, by its internal functionality, finds appropriate actions on the basis of the history of sensor values, guided by the goals, intentions, objectives, learning schemes, and so forth. While very successful with classical robots, these methods run into severe difficulties when applied to soft robots, a new field of robotics with large interest for human-robot interaction. We claim that a novel controller paradigm opens new perspective for this field. This paper applies a recently developed neuro controller with differential extrinsic synaptic plasticity to a muscle-tendon driven arm-shoulder system from the Myo-robotics toolkit. In the experiments, we observe a vast variety of self-organized behavior patterns: when left alone, the arm realizes pseudo-random sequences of different poses. By applying physical forces, the system can be entrained into definite motion patterns like wiping a table. Most interestingly, after attaching an object, the controller gets in a functional resonance with the object’s internal dynamics, starting to shake spontaneously bottles half-filled with water or sensitively driving an attached pendulum into a circular mode. When attached to the crank of a wheel the neural system independently discovers how to rotate it. In this way, the robot discovers affordances of objects its body is interacting with. We also discuss perspectives for using this controller paradigm for intention driven behavior generation.
|Overview||Compiled clip of all experiments||Video 1|
|Handshake||Human robot interaction by manually imposing a periodic movement||Video 2|
|Bottle swing||Excitation of a circular pendulum mode||Video 3|
|Bottle swing measure||Motors are stopped. Recording spring forces of swinging suspended bottle||Video 4|
|Shaking vertically||A half filled bottle is vertically attached to the tip of the arm: shaking of the bottle mainly along its axis||Video 5|
|Shaking horizontally||Same as above but with horizontal attachment||Video 6|
|Rotating wheel||Arm attached to a revolvable bar/wheel||Video 7|
|Rotating wheel II||Parallel wheel – arm arrangement||Video 8|
|Rotating wheel III||Different rotation frequencies||Video 9|
|Wiping table||Arm with brush starts to wipe a table||Video 10|
|Wiping table modes||Different wiping patterns from reloaded controllers||Video 11|
|Free||No external forces applied: pseudo-random sequences of reaching-type behavior||Video 12|
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