Scientists at the University of the West of England and the University of Sheffield have won funding to create a robotic system based on the whiskers of a rat.
The system would mimic the biological rat whisker and would provide an entirely new and groundbreaking modality for mobile robots working in confined spaces.
Known as ‘Whiskerbot’ the project will bring together experts in robotics from UWE with experts from Sheffield University who specialise in computer modelling of the brains of mammals.
The project aims to replicate many aspects of the way a rat’s whiskers work – it uses its whiskers to sense the location, closeness, size and texture of nearby objects and surfaces. The rat also sweeps its whiskers back and forth across surfaces and objects to gather information about form and texture. In fact, it could be claimed that whiskers are as important to rats as vision is to humans.
Jane Kelly | alfa
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