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Shaping Behavior With Adaptive Morphology

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2056-2062
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Robotics and Automation Letters
Issue number3
Early online date19 Feb 2018
DateAccepted/In press - 27 Jan 2018
DateE-pub ahead of print - 19 Feb 2018
DatePublished (current) - Jul 2018


Robots which exploit their embodiment promise to be more robust, energy-efficient and adaptable. However, the majority of systems designed in this way are only capable of exploiting their embodiment when performing a single task in a single environment. For such robots to be capable of adapting to a range of tasks or environments, they must be capable of adjusting their morphology on-line and have an understanding of how adjustments in both control and morphology affect their behaviour. We introduce the concept of the control-morphology (CM) space and the Variable Stiffness Swimmer (VSS), a multi-segment pendular robot with adaptive joint stiffness. This system allows us to perform an initial investigation into how navigating the CM space affects the behaviour of a robot. We show that the behaviour of the system is not only the result of selecting a particular location within the control-morphology space, but also the route taken to arrive at that point. We also demonstrate locations within the space where a shift in behaviour can be caused entirely by smooth on-line changes in morphology.

    Structured keywords

  • Tactile Action Perception

    Research areas

  • Biologically-Inspired Robots, Underactuated Robots, Biomimetics

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    Rights statement: This is the author accepted manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via IEEE at Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

    Accepted author manuscript, 4 MB, PDF document


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