This unique ability of animals to combine sensory information is something that machines could do well to emulate. Earlier this week the Department of Computing and the Department of Psychology at the University of Surrey, together with the University of Manchester, jointly hosted a Workshop on Biologically Inspired Information Fusion to see if we could learn how animals achieve this multi-sensory processing in order to translate that into technology.
Representatives from the disciplines of biology, psychology, computer science and robotics attended to give their perspective on sensory fusion in order to encourage inter-disciplinary collaboration and provide training. Attendees from the UK, USA, Italy, Ireland, Germany, France and Australia worked together to make the workshop productive, with lots of lively discussion about how the different disciplines can work together to help each other understand multi-sensory processing in humans and animals. A key objective was to discuss how cross-discipline information might be used to build systems that can fuse different sources of information, say video and audio signals, in a bid to make more intelligent systems.
One of the highlights of the workshop was the tutorial given by Professor Barry Stein of Wake Forest University School of Medicine, who provided a very engaging and detailed presentation of his work on understanding how animals combine audio, visual and tactile sensation in order to react to events in their surroundings. Similar talks on behaviour and brain imaging studies of animals, sensory processing in robots and software fusion systems were given by other key speakers. Current work by researchers in the different fields was also presented to provoke discussion by posing controversial questions. Finally, to help foster student research, a dedicated session was held for students to present their work and get feedback from the leaders in the disciplines.
Overall there was strong debate about the objectives needed to extend collaboration and bring together the disciplines, with good feedback received as to the effectiveness of the workshop. The work was funded by the EPSRC and by Surrey’s Institute of Advanced Studies.
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In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
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A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
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The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
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07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine
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07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine