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Self-similar control systems and applications to zygodactyl bird's foot

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  • We investigate a class of linear discrete control systems, modeling the controlled dynamics of planar manipulators as well as the skeletal dynamics of human fingers and bird's toes. A self-similarity assumption on the phalanxes allows to reinterpret the control field ruling the whole dynamics as an Iterated Function System. By exploiting this relation, we apply results coming from self-similar dynamics in order to give a geometrical description of the control system and, in particular, of its reachable set. This approach is then applied to the investigation of the zygodactyl phenomenon in birds, and in particular in parrots. This arrangement of the toes of a bird's foot, common in species living on trees, is a distribution of the foot with two toes facing forward and two back. Reachability and grasping configurations are then investigated. Finally an hybrid system modeling the owl's foot is introduced.
    Mathematics Subject Classification: Primary: 58F12, 93A30; Secondary: 92B05.


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