Tutorial on Embodiment

3.2. Locomotion Case Studies


The fact that moving from one place to another, or locomotion, requires a body, comes as no surprise. However, it has been treated predominantly as a control problem by many; the body playing the part of a mere tool that has to be commanded appropriately. In this section, we will try to illustrate the contrary: shaping the body morphology and thereby the dynamics that result from the interaction with the environment can lead to stable and efficient locomotion, requiring very little control. We will illustrate these physical implications of being embodied on several machines and animals that walk or run (Hoffmann & Pfeifer 2011).



Hoffmann, M. & Pfeifer, R. (2011), The implications of embodiment for behavior and cognition: animal and robotic case studies, in W. Tschacher & C. Bergomi, ed., The Implications of Embodiment: Cognition and Communication, Exeter: Imprint Academic, pp. 31-58.