D.P. Tsakiris: Teaching

Dimitris P. Tsakiris

HY590.75 Biomimetic Robotics

Spring 2007:

Mo 1-3 p.m., Rm. B211
Wed 1-3 p.m., Rm. RA203
(White Building, Knossos Campus)

Instructor: Dimitris Tsakiris (e-mail: tsakiris at ics.forth.gr)

Graduate course of the Department of Computer Science of the University of Crete.

This graduate course will consider complex robotic systems
inspired from biology, the neurosciences and psychology,
with emphasis on mechanics, motion control and sensor-based behaviors.

Examples of such systems are:
- robotic systems emulating the locomotion and neuromuscular control of various organisms
(reptile/eel/ciliary undulatory locomotion, insect/quadruped/human legged locomotion, …),
- robotic systems inspired by the insect flight control and navigation systems
(visual motion detection, use of sensory information for control, reactive behaviors, …),
- multi-robot systems inspired by social insects (ants, bees, …),
- cognitive robotic systems (e.g., robotic imitation inspired by human social learning).

Regarding such robotic systems, this course will address topics related to:
- their kinematics and dynamics,
- their control, with emphasis on linear and non-linear control,
- their neuromuscular control, as well as rhythmogenesis in such systems
via central pattern generator neural networks,
- the generation of reactive and cooperative behaviors via sensor-based control.

The course will involve student projects (a significant part of the course load).
The projects may draw on studies from biology (in particular from computational neuroethology),
from the computational neurosciences and from psychology,
in order to address issues pertinent to the above, or other related, topics.









Lecture 1:

March 14, 2007

Topic: Biomimetic Robotics: Introduction

Reading material:

Lecture 2:

March 19, 2007

Topic: Animal Locomotion: Introduction

Reading material:

Lecture 3:

March 21, 2007

Topic: Undulatory Locomotion: Introduction

Reading material:

Lecture 4:

March 26, 2007

Topic: Insect flight and EMDs: Introduction

Reading material:

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The project counts for 30% of the course grade.

Some project topics and background material follow.
These topics are only indicative - not mandatory.

Subject: Insect locomotion

Subject: Undulatory Locomotion

Subject: Neuromuscular control: Central Pattern Generators

Subject: Imitation in robotics

Subject: Hardware implementation

Subject: Sensorimotor coordination: Braitenberg vehicles

Subject: Multi-robot systems: formation control

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Midterm exam (Ðñüïäïò):


The midterm exam counts for 25% of the course grade.

Final exam:


The final exam counts for 35% of the course grade.

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The homeworks count for 10% of the course grade.

Homework Set #1

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Main text:

Other very relevant texts:

Other relevant texts:

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Model systems in Neuroethology

o "Brain Facts" primer by the Society for Neuroscience

o On-line biology text by John W. Kimball

o On-line biological eye design book

o Lego Robotic Units (Mindstorms)

o Biorobotics Laboratory at the University of Washington

Multi-robot systems:

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