This paper describes the implementation of a bioinspired six legged robot: Gregor I. Both structure and locomotion control are inspired by biological observations in cockroaches. Robot mechanics attempts to emulate main structural features in cockroaches, like self-stabilizing posture and specializing legged function; in turn, locomotion control is based on the theory of the Central Pattern Generator implemented on a VLSI chip. The final aim is to artificially replicate the fundamental principles that guarantee cockroach's extraordinary agility. Our major concern was on the implementation of rear legs, that seem to play a crucial role in obstacle overcoming and payload capability, and on the locomotion control, performed in this work by a Cellular Neural Network playing the role of an artificial Central Pattern Generator. Experimental tests showed that Gregor I is able to walk at the travel speed of 0.1 body length per second and to successfully negotiate obstacles more than 170% of the height of its mass center. © 2006 IEEE.
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