Robots Get Magneto-Vision From Lobsters

Researchers at the University of OULU are building robots that see like lobsters.  Spiny lobsters have become the unlikely inspiration for a new type of vision system for robots.  The lobsters are endowed with a unique sense of direction–they use an internal map of local variations in the Earth's magnetic field to find their way around their surrounding.  This is a method that could give domestic robots low-cost navigational capabilities.  In the photo below, you can see how the robot would see in magneto-vision.  Building produce a unique pattern of magnetic variations that can be mapped by the robot and then stored onboard in memory.  This pattern can be used to navigate indoors.  This method is very inexpensive compared to an indoor GPS and so could become a way for robots to know where they are in a building.  Read the article below if you want the complete story.

lobster vision robot 

Image: Jnne Haverinen/University of OULU

Metal in buildings distorts the Earth's magnetic field in ways that could give indoor robots a low-cost map.

Lobsters teach robots magnetic mapping trick
Tue, 01 Sep 2009 16:22:00 GMT

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