Some Applications of Natural Motor Control

This paper presents two setpoint regulation problems that may be distinguished from the traditional preview of feedback design by the a priori impossibility of building a smooth bounded controller whose closed loop yields asymptotic stability while preserving configuration constraints. An appeal to the theoretical ideas introduced in [13] yields a solution to each of these problems in the form of a navigation function thatserves as an instance of the natural control philosophy. That is to say, the intrinsic dynamics of the mechanical system, when properly “programmed” are capable of “solving” what have often been cast as planning problems. The resulting closed loop behavior demonstrates a kind of autonomy in that the goal is achieved with probability one and with no further intervention on the part of a “higher level planner.”