Conference Paper

CrunchBot: A Mobile Whiskered Robot Platform.

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-23232-9_10 Conference: Towards Autonomous Robotic Systems - 12th Annual Conference, TAROS 2011, Sheffield, UK, August 31 - September 2, 2011. Proceedings
Source: DBLP

ABSTRACT CrunchBot is a robot platform for developing models of tactile perception and navigation. We present the architecture of CrunchBot,
and show why tactile navigation is difficult. We give novel real-time performance results from components of a tactile navigation
system and a description of how they may be integrated at a systems level. Components include floor surface classification,
radial distance estimation and navigation. We show how tactile-only navigation differs fundamentally from navigation tasks
using vision or laser sensors, in that the assumptions about the data preclude standard algorithms (such as extended Kalman
Filters) and require brute-force methods.

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    ABSTRACT: Whisker movement has been shown to be under active control in certain specialist animals such as rats and mice. Though this whisker movement is well characterized, the role and effect of this movement on subsequent sensing is poorly understood. One method for investigating this phenomena is to generate artificial whisker deflections with robotic hardware under different movement conditions. A limitation of this approach is that assumptions must be made in the design of any artificial whisker actuators, which will impose certain restrictions on the whisker-object interaction. In this paper we present three robotic whisker platforms, each with different mechanical whisker properties and actuation mechanisms. A feature-based classifier is used to simultaneously discriminate radial distance to contact and contact speed for the first time. We show that whisker-object contact speed predictably affects deflection magnitudes, invariant of whisker material or whisker movement trajectory. We propose that rodent whisker control allows the animal to improve sensing accuracy by regulating contact speed induced touch-to-touch variability.
    Frontiers in Neurorobotics 01/2012; 6:12.
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction. The Efficient coding hypothesis [1, 2] proposes that biological sensory processing has evolved to maximize the information transmitted to the brain from the environment, and should therefore be tuned to the statistics of the world. Metabolic and wiring considerations impose additional sparsity on these representations, such that the activity of individual neurons are as decorrelated as possible [3]. Efficient coding has provided a framework for understanding early sensory processing in both vision and audition, for example in explaining the receptive field properties of simple and complex cells in primary visual cortex (V1) and the tuning properties of auditory nerve fibres [4].
    Proceedings of the Second international conference on Biomimetic and Biohybrid Systems; 07/2013
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    Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), 2012 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on; 01/2012

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