There is no central algoritm. Instead, the team, led by Professor Akio Ishiguro and Dai Owaki, the team created a decentralised control scheme (see diagram), using a simple local rule in which a leg continues to support the body while sensing weight on the corresponding leg.
The researchers hope that the study will lead to improvements to adaptive legged robots working in disaster areas, user-friendly legged entertainment robots, and automatic motion-creation algorithms for computer graphics animation.
There is a video of the control technique in action, tested on a physical machine.
For more information, read ‘A quadruped robot exhibiting spontaneous gait transitions from walking to trotting to galloping‘ in Scientific Reports.