Mise au point du système vibrissal du robot-rat Psikharpax et contribution à la fusion de ses capacités visuelle, auditive et tactile

Abstract : To perceive the environment through multiple sensory modalities is an ability mandatory for an animal's survival. Understanding how these modalities operate and the way they are integrated in a unique representation is a major issue for neurosciences, as well as for the design of autonomous robots. The rat, for example, heavily relies on its whiskers to recognize textures or shapes and even to evaluate the size of an aperture. This sensory modality, although widely studied in biology, has generated few research efforts in robotics. Audition and vision also provide a lot of information about the environment and these three sensory modalities turn out to be highly complementary. One structure known to integrate them is the superior colliculus, a sub-cortical area common to almost all vertebrates. This structure acting as an attentional system, allows to detect and generate orienting behavior toward relevant stimuli while ignoring others. The aim of this work is to implement these sensory modalities (tactile, auditive and visual) on the robot-rat Psikharpax and to take the relevant biological knowledge into account in order to integrate them in a multi-sensory percept. We first developed an artificial whisker system allowing texture recognition on a robotic platform. We demonstrated that two apparently opposite biological theories about the encoding of tactile information may be, in fact, complementary. We then collaborated to the development of a binaural auditive system making source localization and separation possible. We demonstrated that the mechanism we used for texture recognition with whiskers can also be used for sound recognition. We also developed a visual attentional system integrating neuromimetic models of superior colliculus and basal ganglia with the ability of reinforcement learning. This model includes sub-cortical and cortical loops allowing for the learning of spatial and non-spatial features. We demonstrated that this system was able to generate saccades toward rewarding targets. Finally, we extended this attentional model to tactile and auditive modalities and demonstrated its ability to produce multi-sensory integration. We also used this model on a mobile robotic platform in order to control the orientation behavior toward multi-sensory targets associated with a reward. We conclude that this model makes it possible to manage multi-sensory stimuli in a way robust enough to be used on a mobile robot. It also generates several testable predictions.
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Contributor : Steve N'Guyen <>
Submitted on : Friday, March 25, 2011 - 3:50:36 PM
Last modification on : Friday, March 22, 2019 - 1:30:39 AM
Document(s) archivé(s) le : Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 12:35:18 PM


  • HAL Id : tel-00579980, version 1


Steve N'Guyen. Mise au point du système vibrissal du robot-rat Psikharpax et contribution à la fusion de ses capacités visuelle, auditive et tactile. Neurosciences [q-bio.NC]. Université Pierre et Marie Curie - Paris VI, 2010. Français. ⟨tel-00579980⟩



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