SEP 08, 2018 10:22 PM PDT

'Robat' Uses A Bat Like Approach

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

Credit: newyorker.com

According to a study published in PLOS Computational Biology, a fully autonomous bat-like terrestrial robot called ‘Robat’ utilizes echolocation to navigate and map a novel environment based solely on sound. Echolocation is used by bats to map novel environments while simultaneously mining through them by emitting sound and retrieving information from the echoes that are reflected from objects in their surroundings.

Multiple theoretical frameworks were proposed to explain why bats attempt solve one of the most difficult issues in robotic systems, however, there has been few efforts made to create an actual robot that can mimic the abilities of bats. Unlike many previous attempts to place sonar in robotics, researchers developed a robot that utilizes a ‘biological bat-like approach’ consisting of sound emission as well as analyzing the echoes returned to develop a map of space.

Robat includes an ultrasonic speaker that can mimic the mouth, releasing frequency modulated chirps at a rate normally used by bats. Additionally, it includes two ultrasonic microphones that mimic ears and can move autonomously through a novel outdoor environment, “mapped it in real time using only sound’.

Credit: Eliakim et al. via Science Daily

More specifically, Robat will delineate the edges of objects it comes across, and categorizes them using an artificial-based neural network, therefore producing “a rich, accurate map of its environment while avoiding obstacles”. To illustrate, when Robat reaches a dead end, it utilizes classification abilities to determine if it was blocked by a wall or perhaps by a plant through which it can continue to move.

"To our best knowledge, our Robat is the first fully autonomous bat-like biologically plausible robot that moves through a novel environment while mapping it solely based on echo information -- delineating the borders of objects and the free paths between them and recognizing their type," explains Itamar Eliakim, the author of the study. "We show the great potential of using sound for future robotic applications."

Source: PLOS Computational Biology

About the Author
  • Nouran is a scientist, educator, and life-long learner with a passion for making science more communicable. When not busy in the lab isolating blood macrophages, she enjoys writing on various STEM topics.
You May Also Like
MAR 26, 2021
Cell & Molecular Biology
New 'Bio-ink' Gets 3D-Printed Organs Closer to Reality
MAR 26, 2021
New 'Bio-ink' Gets 3D-Printed Organs Closer to Reality
For the many people waiting for transplants, 3D-printed organs can't come soon enough. Researchers have been making stri ...
MAY 06, 2021
Drug Discovery & Development
Tweaked Version of Ketamine Could Solve the Opioid Crisis
MAY 06, 2021
Tweaked Version of Ketamine Could Solve the Opioid Crisis
Medications that manage post-operative pain are some of the main entry points to opioid addiction and overdose in the US ...
MAY 27, 2021
Technology
High Amounts of TV Watching for Middle-aged Adults Could Cause Cognitive Decline
MAY 27, 2021
High Amounts of TV Watching for Middle-aged Adults Could Cause Cognitive Decline
How often do you watch T.V. each week? Each day? It turns out, the amount of T.V. you watch as a middle-aged adult could ...
JUN 04, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
Neurotechnology and Saliva Tests Detect Psychoactive Effects of Cannabis
JUN 04, 2021
Neurotechnology and Saliva Tests Detect Psychoactive Effects of Cannabis
Researchers from contract research organization, KGK Science, working on behalf of neurotechnology firm Zentrela, have f ...
JUN 26, 2021
Technology
New Imaging Technique May Allow for Earlier Detection of Neurological Disorders like Alzheimers.
JUN 26, 2021
New Imaging Technique May Allow for Earlier Detection of Neurological Disorders like Alzheimers.
According to research presented at the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging's 2021 Virtual Annual Meeti ...
JUL 11, 2021
Earth & The Environment
A Lake in Antarctica Suddenly Drains
JUL 11, 2021
A Lake in Antarctica Suddenly Drains
During the winter of 2019, a large and deep lake on the Amery Ice Shelf in East Antarctica was lost in about a week. Abo ...
Loading Comments...