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Synchronization through Manipulation - Indirectly Coupled Oscillating Walking Robots


Synchronization behavior universally occurs in our daily life, and it is so important and ubiquitous that has been studied over the past few decades. For example, the Millennium Bridge nicknamed as "Wobbly Bridge" because of the alarming swaying motion caused by synchronization of pedestrians on its opening day. Nowadays, along with the improvement of theoretical research, scientists start to control swarm of robots based on the idea of synchronization. However, no previous study has investigated the synchronization among indirectly coupled robots, which are completely independent with each other without any central controller. This thesis describes the design and implementation of a new kind of swarm of robots and their decentralized controllers. Firstly, robots with one rear driven legs are designed to form swarms of robots. Then, an adaptive control method based on Hopf oscillator is implemented to regulate the phase of the oscillating walking robots. Data from both simulations and experiments has been collected and analysed to discover the properties of collective behavior. Finally, the significance of synchronization of multi-robot working systems is verified to be lower power consumption and greater total output force compared with disordered or non-regulated systems.

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