Mark Blanchard

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The lobula giant movement detector (LGMD) system in the locust responds selectively to objects approaching the animal on a collision course. In earlier work we have presented a neural network model based on the LGMD system which shared this preference for approaching objects. We have extended this model in order to evaluate its responses in a real-world(More)
Ada is an entertainment exhibit that is able to interact with many people simultaneously, using a language of light and sound. " She " received 553,700 visitors over 5 months during the Swiss Expo.02 in 2002. In this paper we present the broad motivations, design and technologies behind Ada, and a first overview of the outcomes of the exhibit. Ada is an(More)
avoidance, and tracking. Faloutsos et al. (2001) show a highly realistic physics-based simulation of complex human body motions such as falling and standing up using a detailed anatomical model of the human skeleton. It would be a major challenge to achieve this degree of anatomical accuracy in a physical robot model. Even if both implementations are(More)
IQR is a new simulator which allows neuronal models to control the behaviour of real-world devices in real-time. Data from several levels of description can be combined. IQR uses a distributed architecture to provide real-time processing. We present the key features of IQR and highlight successful projects which have used this simulator.
While much is now known about the operation and organisation of the brain at the neuronal and microcircuit level, we are still some way from understanding it as a complete system from the lowest to the highest levels of description. One way to gain such an integrative understanding of neural systems is to construct them. We have built the largest(More)
This paper describes Roboser (, an autonomous interactive music composition system. The core of the system comprises two components: a program for simulating large-scale neural networks, and an algorithmic composition system. Both components operate in real-time. Data from e.g. cameras, microphones and pressure sensors enter the(More)
The visual systems of insects perform complex processing using remarkably compact neural circuits, yet these circuits are often studied using simplified stimuli which fail to reveal their behaviour in more complex visual environments. We address this issue by testing models of these circuits in real-world visual environments using a mobile robot. In this(More)
This paper argues that for those neuronal systems which control behaviour, reliable responses are more appropriate than precise responses. We illustrate this argument using a mobile robot controlled by the responses of a neuronal model of the locust LGMD system, a visual system which responds to looming objects. Our experiments show that although the(More)
Despite immense progress in neuroscience, we remain restricted in our ability to construct autonomous, behaving robots that match the competence of even simple animals. The barriers to the realisation of this goal include lack of knowledge of system integration issues, engineering limitations and the organisational constraints common to many research(More)
Buildings are usually conceived as expressing a static functionality where users are required to adapt to its pre-defined properties. This view of architecture is outdated. Buildings can be conceived and constructed as perceiving, acting and adapting entities not unlike biological systems. Although several existing projects have aimed at developing "smart"(More)