Locomotion Control With Frequency and Motor Pattern Adaptations

Mathias Thor*, Beck Strohmer, Poramate Manoonpong

*Corresponding author for this work

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Existing adaptive locomotion control mechanisms for legged robots are usually aimed at one specific type of adaptation and rarely combined with others. Adaptive mechanisms thus stay at a conceptual level without their coupling effect with other mechanisms being investigated. However, we hypothesize that the combination of adaptation mechanisms can be exploited for enhanced and more efficient locomotion control as in biological systems. Therefore, in this work, we present a central pattern generator (CPG) based locomotion controller integrating both a frequency and motor pattern adaptation mechanisms. We use the state-of-the-art Dual Integral Learner for frequency adaptation, which can automatically and quickly adapt the CPG frequency, enabling the entire motor pattern or output signal of the CPG to be followed at a proper high frequency with low tracking error. Consequently, the legged robot can move with high energy efficiency and perform the generated locomotion with high precision. The versatile state-of-the-art CPG-RBF network is used as a motor pattern adaptation mechanism. Using this network, the motor patterns or joint trajectories can be adapted to fit the robot's morphology and perform sensorimotor integration enabling online motor pattern adaptation based on sensory feedback. The results show that the two adaptation mechanisms can be combined for adaptive locomotion control of a hexapod robot in a complex environment. Using the CPG-RBF network for motor pattern adaptation, the hexapod learned basic straight forward walking, steering, and step climbing. In general, the frequency and motor pattern mechanisms complement each other well and their combination can be seen as an essential step toward further studies on adaptive locomotion control.

Original languageEnglish
Article number743888
JournalFrontiers in Neural Circuits
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 25. Nov 2021


  • central pattern generator
  • frequency adaptation
  • legged robot
  • locomotion control
  • motor pattern adaptation


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