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Benjamin is a 2nd year PhD student at Imperial College London supervised by Holger G Krapp, and Huai-Ti Lin. Coming from a control engineering background, his project aims to explore insect control strategies, model them, and to identify performance benefits relative to standard engineering solutions. By investigating advantages and disadvantages of different biological control architectures Ben hopes to advance our understanding of why insects developed the control strategies they have, and how they can be used to improve the control of autonomous robotic systems.



A control engineering perspective on the advantages of using efference copies

Engineers frequently use feedback controllers, where the difference between the desired, and sensed states provides an error that is reduced to zero. However, insects have been suggested to combine feedback controllers with forward models (efference copies) to cancel the expected sensor response due to desired changes, causing the sensors to output only signals indicating external disturbances. We benchmark these two architectures by comparing their performance across various control metrics and scenarios. Our work aims to identify the benefits of forward-models in insect sensorimotor control.