Implementing Rat-Like Motion for a Small-Sized Biomimetic Robot Based on Extraction of Key Movement Joints

Qing Shi*, Zihang Gao, Guanglu Jia, Chang Li, Qiang Huang, Hiroyuki Ishii, Atsuo Takanishi, Toshio Fukuda

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


For a small-sized biomimetic robot, it is challenging to mimic animal-like motion with high speed and high flexibility. To enable high flexibility, high stability, and high biomimicry degree for the robotic rat, we drew inspirations from three agile rat movements, namely, the pitch, yaw, and U-turn movements. First, we proposed key movement joints (KMJs) to capture a decent representation of the rat with a reduced-order model. By extracting the primary KMJs, we determined the number and distribution of robotic joints for the design of a bioinspired spine mechanism. Second, to meet the demand of high biomimicry degree, we generated an optimal compensation term to minimize the trajectory error introduced by simplifying the model. Moreover, we calculated the optimal minimum motion cycle based on the constraints of equilibrium under extreme conditions to ensure high flexibility without compromising the stability. Finally, the proposed method was successfully verified through simulation and experimental tests with a robotic rat endowed with the bioinspired spine mechanism.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9263360
Pages (from-to)747-762
Number of pages16
JournalIEEE Transactions on Robotics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jun


  • Biomimetics
  • biologically inspired robots
  • key movement joints (KMJs)
  • motion control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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