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Thread: "Simulated Bipeds", John Goatstream, 2013

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    Flexible Muscle-Based Locomotion for Bipedal Creatures

    We present a muscle-based control method for simulated bipeds in which both the muscle routing and control parameters are optimized. This yields a generic locomotion control method that supports a variety of bipedal creatures. All actuation forces are the result of 3D simulated muscles, and a model of neural delay is included for all feedback paths. As a result, our controllers generate torque patterns that incorporate biomechanical constraints. The synthesized controllers find different gaits based on target speed, can cope with uneven terrain and external perturbations, and can steer to target directions.

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    Simulated Bipeds

    Bipedal creatures optimize their muscles and learn how to walk, using an evolutionary strategy. No motion capture or key frame animation was used in this video.

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    Optimizing Muscle Routing and Control for Diverse Morphologies

    Proper actuator placement is an important constituent of efficient control. In biological systems, muscle routing has been optimized as part of evolution; analysis of the results, via cadaveric data, has brought many insights into the modeling and simulation of skeletal motion. However, muscle routing geometry is not always available (i.e. for models that have no biological counterpart), nor are biological muscle routings necessarily the most efficient for a specific task. We present a framework that simultaneously optimizes the muscle routing geometry and closed-loop control parameters, applied to bipedal loco-motion for a variety of morphologies. This facilitates the exploration of the interconnections between morphology, muscle routing, motion patterns, and motion energetics. The framework produces robust, real-time simulations of muscle-based locomotion for many morphologies at different speeds, with no reliance on reference motion data.

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