Artificial cerebellum enables human-like object handling by robots

July 10, 2012

Biological circuitry projection of recurrent forward control loops in biologically inspired adaptive microcircuit (credit: N. R. Luque, J. A. Garrido, R. R. Carrillo, S. Tolu, E. Ros/International Journal of Neural Systems)

University of Granada researchers have developed an “artificial cerebellum” that controls a robotic arm with human-like precision.

The cerebellum is the part of the human brain that controls and coordinates body movements.

Existing robots typically require strong forces and are power-consuming. This approach is not compatible with humans because a malfunction might be potentially dangerous.

To solve this, University of Granada researchers have implemented a biologically inspired adaptive microcircuit based on a new cerebellar spiking model that adapts to corrections and stores sensory effects.

It also records motor commands to predict the action or movement to be performed by the robotic arm.

The biologically inspired architectures used in this model combine the error training approach with predictive adaptive control. The robot performs automatic learning and two control systems enable accurate and robust control of the robotic arm during object handling.

The cooperation between the artificial cerebellum and the automatic control system enables the robot  to adapt to changing conditions and interact with humans.

N. R. Luque, J. A. Garrido, R. R. Carrillo, S. Tolu, E. Ros, Adaptive Cerebellar Spiking Model embedded in the control loop: Context switching and robustness against noise, International Journal of Neural Systems, 2011, DOI: 10.1142/S0129065711002900