Tactile sensing for rapid locomotion

Short presentation at IROS 2014 by Alican Demir

Special thanks to our collaborators, Jean-Michel Mongeau and Robert J. Full.

Relevant papers:

  • [PDF] [DOI] J. Mongeau, A. Demir, C. J. Dallmann, K. Jayaram, N. J. Cowan, and R. J. Full, “Mechanical processing via passive dynamic properties of the cockroach antenna can facilitate control during rapid running,” J Exp Biol, vol. 217, iss. 18, p. 3333–3345, 2014.
    [Bibtex]
    @article{mongeaumechanical2014,
    title = {Mechanical processing via passive dynamic properties
    of the cockroach antenna can facilitate control
    during rapid running},
    journal = {J Exp Biol},
    author = {Jean-Michel Mongeau and Alican Demir and Chris J. Dallmann
    and Kaushik Jayaram and Noah J. Cowan
    and Robert J. Full},
    year = 2014,
    volume = 217,
    number = 18,
    pages = {3333--3345},
    doi = {10.1242/jeb.101501},
    url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/jeb.101501},
    }
  • [PDF] [DOI] J. Mongeau, A. Demir, J. Lee, N. J. Cowan, and R. J. Full, “Locomotion- and mechanics-mediated tactile sensing: antenna reconfiguration simplifies control during high-speed navigation in cockroaches,” J Exp Biol, vol. 216, iss. 24, pp. 4530-4541, 2013.
    [Bibtex]
    @article{mongeaulocomotion2013,
    author = {Jean-Michel Mongeau and Alican Demir and Jusuk Lee
    and Noah J. Cowan and Robert J. Full},
    title = {Locomotion- and mechanics-mediated tactile sensing:
    antenna reconfiguration simplifies control during
    high-speed navigation in cockroaches},
    journal = {J Exp Biol},
    volume = 216,
    number = 24,
    pages = {4530-4541},
    year = 2013,
    doi = {10.1242/jeb.083477},
    url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/jeb.083477}
    }
  • [PDF] [DOI] N. J. Cowan, J. Lee, and R. J. Full, “Task-level control of rapid wall following in the American cockroach,” J Exp Biol, vol. 209, iss. 9, p. 1617–1629, 2006.
    [Bibtex]
    @ARTICLE{cowantask-level2006,
    author = {Noah J. Cowan and Jusuk Lee and Robert J. Full},
    title = {Task-level control of rapid wall following in the
    {A}merican cockroach},
    journal = {J Exp Biol},
    year = 2006,
    volume = 209,
    pages = {1617--1629},
    number = 9,
    doi = {10.1242/jeb.02166},
    url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/jeb.02166}
    }
  • [PDF] [DOI] A. Demir, E. W. Samson, and N. J. Cowan, “A tunable physical model of arthropod antennae,” in Proc IEEE Int Conf Robot Autom, Anchorage, AK, USA, 2010, pp. 3793-3798.
    [Bibtex]
    @inproceedings{demirtunable2010,
    author = {Alican Demir and Edward W. Samson and Noah J. Cowan},
    title = {A tunable physical model of arthropod antennae},
    booktitle = {Proc IEEE Int Conf Robot Autom},
    year = 2010,
    pages = {3793-3798},
    address = {Anchorage, AK, USA},
    month = may,
    doi = {10.1109/ROBOT.2010.5509323},
    url =
    {http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpls/abs_all.jsp?arnumber=5509323&tag=1}
    }
  • [PDF] A. Demir, “A Modular, Tunable Tactile Antenna for Exploring the Mechanics of Sensing,” Master Thesis, 2009.
    [Bibtex]
    @MASTERSTHESIS{demirmodular2009,
    author = {Alican Demir},
    title = {A Modular, Tunable Tactile Antenna for Exploring the Mechanics of Sensing},
    school = {Johns Hopkins University},
    year = 2009,
    url = {https://catalyst.library.jhu.edu/catalog/bib_3985789}
    }

Convocation Awards

LIMBS Lab members past and present were extremely well represented at the 2014 Convocation Awards!

  • Edward “Ned” Samson won the James Bell award for outstanding research and scholarly achievement in Mechanical Engineering.
  • Samuel Frishman and Alexander Spinos were co-winners of the Robert George Gerstmyer awards, recognizing outstanding undergraduate achievement in Mechanical Engineering.
  • Dongsuk Shin  won the Charles A. Miller award, which recognizes outstanding academic achievement by an undergraduate in Mechanical Engineering.
  • Gowtham Garimella – graduate winners of the Creel Family Teaching Assistant award, recognizing the best teaching assistants in Mechanical Engineering.

Juggling Study Highlighted in the News

Mert Ankarali’s paper was featured on the cover of the Journal of Neurophysiology:

M. Mert Ankaralı, H. Tutkun Şen, Avik De, Allison M. Okamura, and Noah J. Cowan. “Haptic feedback enhances rhythmic motor control by reducing variability, not improving convergence rate”. J Neurophysiol, 111(6):1286-1299, 2014. [pdf] [Download cover illustration]

It was also picked up in the news:

ankarali_cover

Rhythmic Motor Behavior

News articles:

Baltimore Sun

Johns Hopkins Engineering Magazine

Relevant Articles

M. M. Ankarali, H. Tutkun Şen, A. De, A. M. Okamura, and N. J. Cowan. “Haptic feedback enhances rhythmic motor control by reducing variability, not improving convergence rate”. J Neurophysiol, 111(6):1286-1299, 2014. [pdf]  [Download cover illustration]

M. M. Ankarali, S. Sefati, M. S. Madhav, A. Long, A. J. Bastian, and N. J. Cowan. “Walking dynamics are symmetric (enough)”. J. R. Soc. Interface, 12: 20150209, 2015. [pdf] [Data and Source Code]

Time for Control

In engineering and mathematics, t is the quintessential independent variable: an immutable quantity in terms of which all other variables depend. Most control systems do require a clock, but clocks have been engineered with such low drift rates that for all practical purposes, imperfections in chronometry have been largely ignored.

Biological systems do not have it so easy. Biological clocks were not “engineered” on top of a physical phenomenon like the oscillation of a quartz crystal. Rather, biological wetware must keep time over many scales using physiological, neural, and biochemical mechanisms. Biological clocks are typically described as nonlinear dynamical systems exhibiting limit cycle behavior where the phase of the system advances monotonically with the passage of time. For example, circadian rhythms and other longer-term processes highlight the importance of external cues in the timekeeping process. Circadian and circannual rhythms, for example, are regulated by changes in daylength, temperature, and other environmental cues.

So, while uncertainty in time is justifiably neglected in the design and analysis of most engineering control systems, perfect timekeeping is a poor assumption for the modeling and analysis of biological control systems. Indeed, timekeeping during simple human motor control tasks involves errors of around 10% of the movement cycle duration. Despite this extremely high level of temporal imprecision, the overwhelming majority of computational models of the human motor control makes the implicit assumptions that time is known. Who knows what happens to any of these analyses when our assumption about perfect timekeeping is relaxed?

These three papers begin to address this question:

S. M. LaValle and M. B. Egerstedt, “On time: Clocks, chronometers, and open-loop control,” in Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. on Decision Control, 2007, pp. 1916–1922.

S. G. Carver, E. S. Fortune, and N. J. Cowan, “State-estimation and cooperative control with uncertain time,” in Proc. Amer. Control Conf., 2013, in press.

A. Lamperski and N. J. Cowan, “Time-changed linear quadratic regulators,” in Proc. Euro. Control Conf., 2013, in press.

Written by Noah J. Cowan with Eric S. Fortune, Andrew Lamperski and Sean G. Carver.

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