Design and Experimental Learning of Swimming Gaits for a Magnetic, Modular, Undulatory Robot

Hankun Deng, Patrick Burke, Donghao Li, Bo Cheng

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Here we developed an experimental platform with a magnetic, modular, undulatory robot (μBot) for studying fish-inspired underwater locomotion. This platform will enable us to systematically explore the relationship between body morphology, swimming gaits, and swimming performance via reinforcement learning methods. The μBot was designed to be easily modifiable in morphology, compact in size, easy to be controlled and inexpensive. The experimental platform also included a towing tank and a motion tracking system for real-time measurement of the μBot kinematics. The swimming gaits of μBot were generated by a central pattern generator (CPG), which outputs voltage signals to μBot's magnetic actuators. The CPG parameters were learned experimentally using the parameter exploring policy gradient (PGPE) method to maximize swimming speed. In the experiments, two μBot designs with the same body morphology but different caudal-fin shapes were tested. Results showed that swimming gaits with back-propagating traveling waves can be learned experimentally via PGPE, while the shape of the caudal fins had moderate influences on the learned gaits and the swimming speed. Furthermore, robot swimming speed was sensitive to the undulating frequency and the voltage magnitude of the last three posterior actuators. In contrast, swimming gaits and speed were relatively invariant to the variances within the inter-module connection weights of CPG and the voltage applied to the anterior actuator.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS 2021
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages9562-9568
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781665417143
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021
Event2021 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS 2021 - Prague, Czech Republic
Duration: Sep 27 2021Oct 1 2021

Publication series

NameIEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems
ISSN (Print)2153-0858
ISSN (Electronic)2153-0866

Conference

Conference2021 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS 2021
Country/TerritoryCzech Republic
CityPrague
Period9/27/2110/1/21

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Software
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Science Applications

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Design and Experimental Learning of Swimming Gaits for a Magnetic, Modular, Undulatory Robot'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this