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Chains, Cores, and Wallbanging by Thomas Gray and J. Wolfgang Goerlich

Patterns are the rhythms that set the beat of our lives.

Walking is a pattern: step, shift, step, shift, and away you go. Chewing is a pattern, too. So is tapping your foot to the beat of music or any dancing that you can think of. The best part is that patterns seem so natural; you just do them. There's no need to think about it; just move.

These patterns originate in our Central Nervous System (CNS), apparently in bundles of neurons that wire into our muscles. When the need to move comes, these bundles start firing in an organized pattern. Practically all animals have these Central Pattern Generators (CPGs) governing their locomotion. Then, higher level "thinking" areas send signals to the CPGs to start, stop, or influence the pattern.

In this article, we will use Nervous Net technology to mimic CPGs. Then, we'll show you how to trick a CPG into wall following and simple maze solving.

Need More Input

Figure 1 illustrates the Nv Neuron with a few new inputs. You should already be familiar with the Trigger Input; this is the standard input from the last article. A signal comes in on the input, triggering the Nv. The Nv turns on and stays active for several seconds. The product of R1 and C1 determines

Figure 1. Nv "nervous" neuron.

Time-Biasing Input

Trigger Input

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