Publication Summary and Abstract
Martin J. Pearson, Anthony G. Pipe, Chris Melhuish, Ben Mitchinson and Tony J. Prescott (2007), Whiskerbot: A Robotic Active Touch System Modeled on the Rat Whisker Sensory System, Adaptive Behavior, 15:223-240.
The Whiskerbot project is a collaborative project between robotics engineers, computational neuroscientists and ethologists, aiming to build a biologically inspired robotic implementation of the rodent whisker sensory system. The morphology and mechanics of the large whiskers (macro-vibrissae) have been modeled, as have the neural structures that constitute the rodent central nervous system responsible for macro-vibrissae sensory processing. There are two principal motivations for this project. First, by implementing an artificial whisker sensory system controlled using biologically plausible neural networks we hope to test existing models more thoroughly and develop new hypotheses for vibrissal sensory processing. Second, the sensory mode of tactile whiskers could be useful for general mobile robotic sensory deployment. In this article the robotic platform that has been built is detailed as well as some of the experiments that have been conducted to test the neural control algorithms and architectures inspired from neuroethological observations to mediate adaptive behaviors.
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