RobotsThe Goal: Computer simulations and implementation of robots are a critical test for algorithms and neuronal circuits inferred from biological research. When comparing robot to fly behaviour the possible outcomes are (1) the proof of the concept, (2) starting-points for additional research, or (3) disclosure of emergent properties.
top:Six-legged walking robot(PhD-thesis S.Pick;modified Tarryll in collaboration with Prof.Dr. H.Cruse. Bielefeld)
below: Orientation robot with 360°-camera view(PhD-thesis M.Mronz)
The Orientation Robot: The wheeled robot is equipped with an upwardly oriented video camera. By virtue of a fish-eye lens the camera sees the upper half-sphere of the world. The images are transmitted to a stationary computer, processed in a fly-like fashion and motor commands are being sent back to the robot.
The Six-Legged Robot: This modified TARRY II robot emerged in close collaboration with the group of Prof. Holk Cruse at the University of Bielefeld. It is used as a test bed for higher center control algorithms of walking as they are inferred from the analysis of walking defective mutant flies.
Technical Spin-off: Biologically inspired construction principles and control algorithms are likely to improve the performance of mobile robots.
Feature by Alison Abbott in Nature (Jan. 18, 2007; 445: 250-253)