AmphiBot: an amphibious snake robot

Amphibot 3The aim of this project is to build a biologically inspired amphibious snake-like (or eel/lamprey-like) robot, called AmphiBot. The goals of the project are three-fold: (1) to build an amphibious robot for outdoor robotics tasks, taking inspiration from snakes and elongate fishes such as lampreys, (2) to use the robot as a test-bed for novel types of adaptive controllers based on the concept of central pattern generators, and (3) to use the robot to investigate hypotheses of how locomotion-controlling neural networks are implemented in real animals. We are currently testing the control of different types of locomotions using central pattern generator models inspired by our numerical studies of lamprey locomotion. The latest generation is Amphibot III, which can swim with speeds similar to a human, see a video of a friendly human-robot race. The elements of that robot are also used to serve as spine elements of our Salamandra robotica II robot.

The project is now funded by the Envirobot project as part of the swiss Nano-Tera program. In the context of that project we are improving the robot (fourth generation, Amphibot IV) and equiping it with multiple sensors for pollution detection in lakes.

People involved: Alessandro Crespi, Yannick Morel, Mathieu Porez, Kostas Karakasiliotis, Jeremie Knuesel, André Guignard, André Badertscher, Auke Ijspeert

Older generation movies

  • A.J. Ijspeert and A. Crespi: Online trajectory generation in an amphibious snake robot using a lamprey-like central pattern generator model, Proceedings of the 2007 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2007), pages 262-268. PDF
  • A. Crespi and A.J. Ijspeert: AmphiBot II: an amphibious snake robot that crawls and swims using a central pattern generator, Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Climbing and Walking Robots (CLAWAR 2006), pages 19-27. PDF
  • A. Crespi, A. Badertscher, A. Guignard, and A.J. Ijspeert: Swimming and crawling with an amphibious snake robot, Proceedings of the 2005 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2005), pages 3035-3039. PDF
  • A. Crespi, A. Badertscher, A. Guignard and A.J. Ijspeert: AmphiBot I : an amphibious snake-like robot, Robotics and Autonomous Systems, vol. 50, issue 4, pages 163-175. PDF.
  • A. Crespi, A. Badertscher, A. Guignard and A.J. Ijspeert: An amphibious robot capable of snake and lamprey-like locomotion, Proceedings of the 35th international symposium on robotics (ISR 2004), March 2004. PDF.
  • A.J. Ijspeert, J. Kodjabachian: Evolution and development of a central pattern generator for the swimming of a lamprey, Artificial Life 5:3, 1999, pp 247-269. Gzipped postscript, PDF
  • A.J. Ijspeert, J. Hallam. and D. Willshaw: Evolving swimming controllers for a simulated lamprey with inspiration from neurobiology, Adaptive Behavior 7:2, 1999, pp 151-172. Gzipped postscript, PDF