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A new robot navigates using human-like visual processing and object detection.
By Anne-Marie Corley
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
European researchers have developed a robot capable of moving autonomously using humanlike visual processing. The robot is helping the researchers explore how the brain responds to its environment while the body is in motion. What they discover could lead to machines that are better able to navigate through cluttered environments.
The robot consists of a wheeled platform with a robotic “head” that uses two cameras to capture stereoscopic vision. The robot can turn its head and shift its gaze up and down or sideways to gauge its surroundings, and can quickly measure its own speed relative to its environment.
The machine is controlled by algorithms designed to mimic different parts of the human visual system. Rather than capturing and mapping its surroundings over and over in order to plan its route–the way most robots do–the European machine uses a simulated neural network to update its position relative to the environment, continually adjusting to each new input. This mimics human visual processing and movement planning.