Robots With Insect Brains

It has been a few years since RobotShop released the original DFRobotShop Rover, and we continue to be amazed and delighted with what people are using them to do. Recently German researchers used the DFRobotShop Rover as well as additional parts (light sensor, camera, software) to mimic the simple nervous system of an insect (using colors instead of odors) in real time. The (open source) software used is IQR: Neural Network Simulator.
Spiking Neural NetworkSpiking Neural Network
The researchers placed the mobile robot in the center of an enclosed arena along with red and blue objects. Once the robot’s onboard camera focused on an object with the desired color (in this case red),  the scientists triggered a light flash. This signal activated a “reward sensor nerve cell” in the spiking neural network. This reward based system caused the robot to move towards the red objects while blue objects made it move backwards. This system easily lends itself to robots which "learn" how to behave.
“The network-controlled robot is able to link certain external stimuli with behavioral rules,” said Professor Martin Paul Nawrot, head of the research team and professor of neuroscience at Freie Universität in Berlin. “Much like honeybees learn to associate certain flower colors with tasty nectar, the robot learns to approach certain colored objects and to avoid others.” If you are interested in the DFRobotShop Rover, Arduino or robots in general, we have tried to compile a playlist of DFRobotShop Rover Videos. If you have a DFRobotShop Rover and have made a video which you think would be of interest to the community, we would be happy to include it in the playlist.
Via: Kurzweil AI
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