Biorobotics

We use mobile wheeled robots to serve as hardware models to test hypotheses on how insects control their odor tracking behavior. In the past, we created sensors to use on a comercially available Khepera robot (pictured above). The goal, as in our simulation experiments, was to program the robot to track odor in our wind tunnel, using guidance rules similar to those we think our insects use to track pheromone in our wind tunnel. [Note in the video the plume is overlayed on top of the robot track and wind is blowing from right to left.] Our most recent work in this area is aimed at extending our robotic odor tracking experiments from the wind tunnel into the unpredictable real world environments out-of-doors. We are using more custom designed sensors mounted on a larger wheeled Koala robot. We have successfully acheived dynamic orientation to changing wind direction and work on incorporating chemosensors is ongoing.