Friday, October 01, 2004

Amouse: the mouse-whisker cyborg that's mostly robot & a little bit rat

The Artificial Mouse Project (Amouse) is a European project to develop a multisensory robot with visual sensors and an artificial whisker system. The organic component of this thing is a robot built with rat whiskers glued on capacitor microphones.

"Each whisker is thus a single sensor. Data acquisition is done on a laptop with a PCMCIA data acquisition card.

So far, the artificial mouse has been used for experiments on the morphology of the whisker array. We looked for an optimal arrangement of the whiskers by comparing different morphologies as to how well the robot was able to avoid obstacles. We found that a different morphology than the one found in nature is optimal for this task."


Blogger Meshon said...

A different morphology than the one found in nature, hey? I wonder if anybody checked their criteria with the rats? To be fair, she does mention that the "experiments show that for the simple obstacle avoidance task studied, the natural morphology is not ideal," (emphasis added). The part I really like is when she talks about using "a standard Khepera II robot." Who knew that the Khepera II was standard? I thought we were still using the Osiria X...

5:46 PM  
Blogger Allison Muri said...

...yeah, and who even knew there was such a thing as "whisking behaviour"? If you combined the AMouse with the Ratbots, and they went looking for live human bodies as in the creepy robospider Minority Report scenario mentioned by Dustin, presumably they wouldn't be fooled by lack of body heat (as long as there's optimal "arrangement within whisker array" - how do people think of these things? Technology is so creative and playful and downright weird...).

8:00 PM  

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