Preliminary studies of a second generation brachiation robot controller

We report on our preliminary studies of a new controller for a two-link brachiating robot. Motivated by the pendulum-like motion of an ape’s brachiation, we encode this task as the output of a “target dynamical system”. Numerical simulations indicate that the resulting controller solves a number of brachiating problems that we term the “ladder”, “swing up” and “rope” problems. Preliminary analysis provides some explanation for this success. We discuss a number of formal questions whose answers will be required to gain a full understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of this approach.