A navigating rat animat

Ball, David, Heath, Scott, Milford, Michael, Wyeth, Gordon, & Wiles, Janet (2010) A navigating rat animat. In Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on the Synthesis and Simulation of Living Systems, MIT Press, Odense, Denmark, pp. 804-811.

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This paper presents a new rat animat, a rat-sized bio-inspired robot platform currently being developed for embodied cognition and neuroscience research. The rodent animat is 150mm x 80mm x 70mm and has a different drive, visual, proximity, and odometry sensors, x86 PC, and LCD interface. The rat animat has a bio-inspired rodent navigation and mapping system called RatSLAM which demonstrates the capabilities of the platform and framework. A case study is presented of the robot's ability to learn the spatial layout of a figure of eight laboratory environment, including its ability to close physical loops based on visual input and odometry. A firing field plot similar to rodent 'non-conjunctive grid cells' is shown by plotting the activity of an internal network. Having a rodent animat the size of a real rat allows exploration of embodiment issues such as how the robot's sensori-motor systems and cognitive abilities interact. The initial observations concern the limitations of the deisgn as well as its strengths. For example, the visual sensor has a narrower field of view and is located much closer to the ground than for other robots in the lab, which alters the salience of visual cues and the effectiveness of different visual filtering techniques. The small size of the robot relative to corridors and open areas impacts on the possible trajectories of the robot. These perspective and size issues affect the formation and use of the cognitive map, and hence the navigation abilities of the rat animat.

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3 citations in Scopus
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ID Code: 40389
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Robot, Animat, RatSLAM, Navigation
ISBN: 9780262290753
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND IMAGE PROCESSING (080100) > Adaptive Agents and Intelligent Robotics (080101)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Current > Institutes > Institute for Future Environments
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Past > Schools > School of Engineering Systems
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2010 [please consult the authors]
Deposited On: 23 Mar 2011 00:19
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2013 03:53

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