Locomotion of reptiles and snakes.
SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN:#82 1970, BY C.GANS

ANIMAL LOCOMOTION. J GRAY. 479P LONDRES 1970

Jean Pierre GASC. is a specialist is the field of Snakes Locomotion.
He is now Docteur-ès-Sciences at the Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle and vice President of the Societas Europea Herpetologica.
LA RECHERCHE #25 1972

R.HOFFSTETTER, J.P.GASC and C.GANS, BIOLOGY OF THE REPTILIA 1969

J.P.GASC,Thèse d'état. PARIS November 1971.

Locomotion. Sabine Renous. 1994. Editions Dunod (en vente au museum d'histoire naturelle)

Les SERPENTS, Encyclopédie visuelle Bordas. 1994.

The first mechanical snake was born in 1972 in Japan. Its Name was ACM III. ACM III was able to achive lateral undulation thanks to good quality casters and a rather high number of joints.

Pour la Science #172 fevrier 1992 p 72 Les robots autonomes. P.WALLICH

A guru in the field of AI applied to autonomous robots is Rodney Brooks of the MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab.
His main creation is the Subsumption Architecture.
It's a Bottom to top approach leading to very surprising results.

A selection of articles from the MIT Online Publications

Here is a thesis written by a MIT student describing an incredible walking insect "Hannibal" which applies in depth the Subsumption Architecture principles. This is the result of a 4 years span study. Two years of hardware plus two years of software.
Attention, it is a big PostScript format file (165 pages), so, you are supposed to have a PS viewer for the sake of the forests.

AI Technical Report 1443, May 1993, 165 pages, available online as ai-publications/1000-1499/AITR-1443.ps.Z

Robust Agent Control of an Autonomous Robot with Many Sensors and Actuators

By Cynthia Ferrell

This thesis presents methods for implementing robust hexapod locomotion on an autonomous robot with many sensors and actuators. The controller is based on the Subsumption Architecture and is fully distributed over approximately 1500 simple, concurrent processes. The robot, Hannibal, weighs approximately 6 pounds and is equipped with over 100 physical sensors, 19 degrees of freedom, and 8 on board computers. We investigate the following topics in depth: distributed control of a complex robot, insect-inspired locomotion control for gait generation and rough terrain mobility, and fault tolerance. The controller was implemented, debugged, and tested on Hannibal. Through a series of experiments, we examined Hannibal's gait generation, rough terrain locomotion, and fault tolerance performance. These results demonstrate that Hannibal exhibits robust, flexible, real-time locomotion over a variety of terrain and tolerates a multitude of hardware failures.

Keywords: distributed control, autonomous robot, fualt tolerance, adaptive behavior, legged locomotion, behavior based control

AI memo 1439, August 1993, 16 pages, available online as ai-publications/1000-1499/AIM-1439.ps.Z

Building Brains for Bodies

By Rodney Brooks and Lynn A. Stein

We describe a project to capitalize on newly available levels of computational resources in order to understand human cognition. We will build an integrated physical system including vision, sound input and output, and dextrous manipulation, all controlled by a continuously operating large scale parallel MIMD computer. The resulting system will learn to think'' by building on its bodily experiences to accomplish progressively more abstract tasks. Past experience suggests that in attempting to build such an integrated system we will have to fundamentally change the way artificial intelligence, cognitive science, linguistics, and philosophy think about the organization of intelligence. We expect to be able to better reconcile the theories that will be developed with current work in neuroscience.

AI memo 864, September 1985, 25 pages, available online as ai-publications/500-999/AIM-864.ps

A Robust Layered Control System For a Mobile Robot

By Rodney A. Brooks

We describe a new architecture for controlling mobile robots. Layers of control system are built to let the robot operate at increasing levels of competence. Layers are made up of asynchronous modules which communicate over low bandwidth channels. Each module is an instance of a fairly simple computational machine. Higher level layers can subsume the roles of lower levels by suppressing their outputs. However, lower levels continue to function as higher levels are added. The result is a robust and flexible robot control system. The system is intended to control a robot that wanders the office areas of our laboratory, building maps of its surroundings. In this paper we demonstrate the system controlling a detailed simulation of the robot.

AI memo 1293, April 1991, 29 pages, available online as ai-publications/1000-1499/AIM-1293.ps.Z

Intelligence Without Reason

By Rodney A. Brooks

Computers and Thought are the two categories that together define Artificial Intelligence as a discipline. It is generally accepted that work in Artificial Intelligence over the last thirty years has had a strong influence on aspects of computer architectures. In this paper we also make the converse claim; that the state of computer architecture has been a strong influence on our models of thought. The Von Neumann model of computation has lead Artificial Intelligence in particular directions. Intelligence in biological systems is completely different. Recent work in behavior-based Artificial Intelligence has produced new models of intelligence that are much closer in spirit to biological systems. The non-Von Neumann computational models they use share many characteristics with biological computation.

Keywords: artificial intelligence, situatedness, embodiment

AI memo 899, May 1986, 12 pages, available online as ai-publications/500-999/AIM-899.ps

Achieving Artificial Intelligence through Building Robots

By Rodney Brooks

We argue that generally accepted methodologies of artificial intelligence research are limited in the proportion of human level intelligence they can be expected to emulate. We argue that the currently accepted decompositions and static representations used in such research are wrong. We argue for a shift to a process based model, with a decomposition based on task achieving behaviors as the organizational principle. In particular we advocate building robotic insects.

Keywords: artificial intelligence, robotics

AI memo 1091, February 1989, 12 pages, available online as ai-publications/1000-1499/AIM-1091.ps

A Robot That Walks; Emergent Behaviors from a Carefully Evolved Network

By Rodney A. Brooks

This paper suggests a possible mechanism for robot evolution by describing a carefully designed series of networks, each one being a strict augmentation of the previous one, which controls a six- legged walking machine capable of walking over rough terrain and following a person passively sensed in the infrared spectrum. As the completely decentralized networks are augmented, the robot's performance and behavior repertoire demonstrably improve.

Keywords: subsumption architecture, walking robot, emergent behavior, distributed control

reference: Also in {\it Neural Computation}, vol. 1, no. 2, 1989. adnum: AD-A207958 contract: N00014-86-K-0685, N00014-85-K-0124

AI memo 1120, July 1989, 31 pages, available online as ai-publications/1000-1499/AIM-1120.ps

SQUIRT: The Prototypical Mobile Robot for Autonomous Graduate Students

By Anita M. Flynn, Rodney A. Brooks, William M. Wells III, and David S. Barrett

This paper describes an exercise in building a complete robot aimed at being as small as possible but using off-the-shelf components exclusively. The result is an autonomous mobile robot slightly larger than one cubic inch which incorporates sensing, actuation, onboard computation, and onboard power supplies. Nicknamed Squirt, this robot acts as a bug,'' hiding in dark corners and venturing out in the direction of last heard noises, only moving after the noises are long gone.

Keywords: miniature robot, autonomous robot, subsumption architecture

MIT handy Board
BEAM Resources - Little Marks list
Active Code Mechanism No.3
La page officielle de la Coupe E=M6
Robotics Web Servers
La page officielle de la Coupe E=M6
ARBE-ONE Mobile Base Platform
Rod Brooks' Personal Page
Genghis' Temporary Web Page
The Ants
MIT AI lab publications
Robotics Internet Resources Page
Hobbyist Robotics Pages
Robots at Taygeta Scientific Inc.
Ftp MIT Robotics
BecTec Robotic Hardware Store