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Carla Pinto – Locomotion patterns in animals and robots

The study of locomotor patterns has been a major research goal in the last decades. Understanding how intralimb and interlimb coordination works out so well in animals’ locomotion is a hard and challenging task. Vertebrate locomotion is often assumed to be controlled by a central pattern generator (CPG) capable of producing the rhythms associated to the different gaits. Moreover, CPGs are commonly modeled as networks of identical systems of differential equations, where the individual systems, which we call cells, model neurons, or more plausibly, collections of neurons. Many models have been proposed to model animal’s rhythms. These models have also been applied to the control of rhythmic movements of adaptive legged robots, namely biped, quadruped and other designs.
In this talk, we review models of central pattern generators for animal and robot locomotion, focusing on the symmetries of the models and their interesting properties.


Carla M. A. Pinto · Martin Golubitsky, Central pattern generators for bipedal locomotion, Journal of Mathematical Biology, 53(3):474-89 (2006).

Carla M. A. Pinto · Alexandra Santos, Modeling gait transition in two legged animals, Communications in Nonlinear Science and Numerical Simulations, 16(12), 4625-4631 (2011).

Carla M. A. Pinto, Pinto, Stability of quadruped robot’s trajetories subjected to discrete perturbations, Nonlinear Dynamics, 70, 2089, (2012).