Design and development of biomimetic quadruped robot for behavior studies of rats and mice.

Hiroyuki Ishii, Yuichi Masuda, Syunsuke Miyagishima, Shogo Fumino, Atsuo Takanishi, Cecilia Laschi, Barbara Mazzolai, Virgilio Mattoli, Paolo Dario

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    Abstract

    This paper presents the design and development of a novel biomimetic quadruped robot for behavior studies of rats and mice. Many studies have been performed using these animals for the purpose of understanding human mind in psychology, pharmacology and brain science. In these fields, several experiments on social interactions have been performed using rats as basic studies of mental disorders or social learning. However, some researchers mention that the experiments on social interactions using animals are poorly-reproducible. Therefore, we consider that reproducibility of these experiments can be improved by using a robotic agent that interacts with an animal subject. Thus, we developed a small quadruped robot WR-2 (Waseda Rat No. 2) that behaves like a real rat. Proportion and DOF arrangement of WR-2 are designed based on those of a mature rat. This robot has four 3-DOF legs, a 2-DOF waist and a 1-DOF neck. A microcontroller and a wireless communication module are implemented on it. A battery is also implemented. Thus, it can walk, rear by limbs and groom its body.

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    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
    • Signal Processing
    • Biomedical Engineering
    • Health Informatics

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