An approach to motor control for spike-based neuromorphic robotics

F. Perez-Peña, A. Linares-Barranco, E. Chicca

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademic

8 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents an approach to open-loop motor control using Integrate and Fire (IF) neurons. The controller aims at mimicking motor control structures found in the brain and consists of three neuron populations implemented on different VLSI chips. The first population codes the distance to the target in a form of a firing rate (similarly to some class of cells found in Area 4 in the motor mammalian cortex). The second population mimics the behavior of neurons of the basal ganglia and control the gating and speed of the movement, by means of an NMDA synapse and an excitatory connection. The third population codes the supposed position reached by the robot. The multi-chip neuromorphic setup is interfaced with a Field-Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) board by the Address Event Representation (AER) communication protocol. The FPGA elongates the spike duration to make them suitable for driving the motors with Pulse Frequency Modulation (PFM). This approach aims to compete with classic controllers offering lower power, simplified control and smoother movements.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2014 IEEE Biomedical Circuits and Systems Conference (BioCAS) Proceedings
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

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