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Texture perception is studied here in a physical model of the rat whisker system consisting of a robot equipped with a biomimetic vibrissal sensor. Investigations of whisker motion in rodents have led to several explanations for texture discrimination, such as resonance or stick-slips. Meanwhile, electrophysiological studies of decision-making in monkeys(More)
Whiskered mammals such as rats are experts in tactile perception. By actively palpating surfaces with their whiskers, rats and mice are capable of acute texture discrimination and shape perception. We present a novel system for investigating whisker-object contacts repeatably and reliably. Using an XY positioning robot and a biomimetic artificial whisker we(More)
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Motivated by the impact of superresolution methods for imaging, we undertake a detailed and systematic analysis of localization acuity for a biomimetic fingertip and a flat region of tactile skin. We identify three key factors underlying superresolution that enable the perceptual acuity to surpass the sensor resolution: 1) the sensor is constructed with(More)
Many rodents use their whiskers to distinguish objects by surface texture. To examine possible mechanisms for this discrimination, data from an artificial whisker attached to a moving robot was used to test texture classification algorithms. This data was examined previously using a template-based classifier of the whisker vibration power spectrum [1].(More)
Future robots may need to navigate where visual sensors fail. Touch sensors provide an alternative modality, largely unexplored in the context of robotic map building. We present the first results in grid based simultaneous localisation and mapping (SLAM) with biomimetic whisker sensors, and show how multi-whisker features coupled with priors about straight(More)
Recent advances in modeling animal perception has motivated an approach of Bayesian perception applied to biomimetic robots. This study presents an initial application of Bayesian perception on an iCub fingertip sensor mounted on a dedicated positioning robot. We systematically probed the test system with five cylindrical stimuli offset by a range of(More)
Novelty detection would be a useful ability for any autonomous robot that seeks to categorize a new environment or notice unexpected changes in its present one. A biomimetic robot (SCRATCHbot) inspired by the rat whisker system was here used to examine the performance of a novelty detection algorithm based on a “naive” implementation of Bayes(More)
The Tactile Helmet is designed to augment a wearer's senses with long-range touch. Tactile specialist animals e.g. rats are capable of rapidly acquiring detailed environmental information from their whiskers using task-sensitive strategies. Providing similar information about the environment, in tactile form, to a human operator could prove invaluable for(More)