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Publication Summary and Abstract

Pearson, M. J., Gilhespy, I., Melhuish, C., Mitchinson, B., Nibouche, M., Pipe, A. G., Prescott, T. J. (2005), A biomimetic haptic sensor, Journal of Advanced Robotic Systems, 2:335-343.

The design and implementation of the periphery of an articial whisker sensory system is presented. It has been developed by adopting a biomimetic approach to model the structure and function of rodent facial vibrissae. The artificial vibrissae have been formed using composite materials and have the ability to be actively moved or whisked. The sensory structures at the root of real vibrissae has been modelled and implemented using micro strain gauges and Digital Signal Processors. The primary afferents and vibrissal trigeminal ganglion have been modelled using empirical data taken from electrophysiological measurements, and implemented in real-time using a FieldProgrammable GateArray. Pipelining techniques were employed to maximise the utility of the FPGA hardware. The system is to be integrated into a more complete whisker sensory model, including neural structures within the central nervous system, which can be used to orient a mobile robot.
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