Skip to main content
Locomotion Training of Legged Robots Using Hybrid Machine Learning Techniques
  • William E. Simon, Lamar University
  • Peggy I Doerschuk, Lamar University
  • Wen-Ran Zhang
  • Andrew L Li, Lamar University
In this study artificial neural networks and fuzzy logic are used to control the jumping behavior of a three-link uniped robot. The biped locomotion control problem is an increment of the uniped locomotion control. Study of legged locomotion dynamics indicates that a hierarchical controller is required to control the behavior of a legged robot. A structured control strategy is suggested which includes navigator, motion planner, biped coordinator and uniped controllers. A three-link uniped robot simulation is developed to be used as the plant. Neurocontrollers were trained both online and offline. In the case of on-line training, a reinforcement learning technique was used to train the neurocontroller to make the robot jump to a specified height. After several hundred iterations of training, the plant output achieved an accuracy of 7.4%. However, when jump distance and body angular momentum were also included in the control objectives, training time became impractically long. In the case of off-line training, a three-layered backpropagation (BP) network was first used with three inputs, three outputs and 15 to 40 hidden nodes. Pre-generated data were presented to the network with a learning rate as low as 0.003 in order to reach convergence. The low learning rate required for convergence resulted in a very slow training process which took weeks to learn 460 examples. After training, performance of the neurocontroller was rather poor. Consequently, the BP network was replaced by a Cerebeller Model Articulation Controller (CMAC) network. Subsequent experiments described in this document show that the CMAC network is more suitable to the solution of uniped locomotion control problems in terms of both learning efficiency and performance. A new approach is introduced in this report, viz., a self-organizing multiagent cerebeller model for fuzzy-neural control of uniped locomotion is suggested to improve training efficiency. This is currently being evaluated for a possible patent by NASA, Johnson Space Center. An alternative modular approach is also developed which uses separate controllers for each stage of the running stride. A self-organizing fuzzy-neural controller controls the height, distance and angular momentum of the stride. A CMAC-based controller controls the movement of the leg from the time the foot leaves the ground to the time of landing. Because the leg joints are controlled at each time step during flight, movement is smooth and obstacles can be avoided. Initial results indicate that this approach can yield fast, accurate results.

  • Locomotion training,
  • Legged robots,
  • Hybrid machine learning techniques,
  • Backpropagation,
  • BP
Publication Date
October, 1995
Citation Information
William E. Simon, Peggy I Doerschuk, Wen-Ran Zhang and Andrew L Li. "Locomotion Training of Legged Robots Using Hybrid Machine Learning Techniques" (1995)
Available at: