4 May 2009 Biomimetic smart sensors for autonomous robotic behavior II: vestibular processing
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Limited autonomous behaviors are fast becoming a critical capability in the field of robotics as robotic applications are used in more complicated and interactive environments. As additional sensory capabilities are added to robotic platforms, sensor fusion to enhance and facilitate autonomous behavior becomes increasingly important. Using biology as a model, the equivalent of a vestibular system needs to be created in order to orient the system within its environment and allow multi-modal sensor fusion. In mammals, the vestibular system plays a central role in physiological homeostasis and sensory information integration (Fuller et al, Neuroscience 129 (2004) 461-471). At the level of the Superior Colliculus in the brain, there is multimodal sensory integration across visual, auditory, somatosensory, and vestibular inputs (Wallace et al, J Neurophysiol 80 (1998) 1006-1010), with the vestibular component contributing a strong reference frame gating input. Using a simple model for the deep layers of the Superior Colliculus, an off-the-shelf 3-axis solid state gyroscope and accelerometer was used as the equivalent representation of the vestibular system. The acceleration and rotational measurements are used to determine the relationship between a local reference frame of a robotic platform (an iRobot Packbot®) and the inertial reference frame (the outside world), with the simulated vestibular input tightly coupled with the acoustic and optical inputs. Field testing of the robotic platform using acoustics to cue optical sensors coupled through a biomimetic vestibular model for "slew to cue" gunfire detection have shown great promise.
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Shuwan Xue, Shuwan Xue, Socrates Deligeorges, Socrates Deligeorges, Aaron Soloway, Aaron Soloway, Lee Lichtenstein, Lee Lichtenstein, Tyler Gore, Tyler Gore, Allyn Hubbard, Allyn Hubbard, "Biomimetic smart sensors for autonomous robotic behavior II: vestibular processing", Proc. SPIE 7321, Bio-Inspired/Biomimetic Sensor Technologies and Applications, 732108 (4 May 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.820936; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.820936


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