Design and Control of a Biomimetic Robotic Rat for Interaction with Laboratory Rats

Qing Shi, Hiroyuki Ishii, Yusuke Sugahara, Atsuo Takanishi, Qiang Huang, Toshio Fukuda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, we describe the system design and control of a miniature robotic rat, WR-5, which is intended to interact with laboratory rats. WR-5 can perform rearing, mounting, rotating, and body-grooming actions as naturally as live mature rats because of its multilink structure. Experimental results confirm that WR-5 can stimulate stressing fear in rats by performing a mounting action, which shows remarkable progress when compared with the previous generation of these robots. Additionally, a virtual impedance model-based control method is used to generate both posture and trajectory for WR-5. The results of simulations and following tests with real rats show that WR-5 can adjust its head and body positioning to follow a target rat in real time. The control system simultaneously allows real-time avoidance of moving outside observers during the following test. Additionally, based on interaction with multiple rats, we conclude that the robotic rat shows great promise for manipulation of the sociality of rats.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6914558
Pages (from-to)1832-1842
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Aug 1


  • Cognitive robotics
  • mechatronics
  • mobile robots
  • motion analysis
  • motion control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Design and Control of a Biomimetic Robotic Rat for Interaction with Laboratory Rats'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this