Institut des Systèmes Intelligents
et de Robotique





Tremplin CARNOT Interfaces



Title: Development of the vibrissal system for the robot-rat Psikharpax and contribution to the fusion of its visual, auditive and tactile ability.

Keywords: Perception - artificial whiskers - texture recognition - Superior Colliculus - Basal Ganglia - Saccades - Multisensory integration

Date and location :

23 septembre 2010 à 14h
UPMC – Campus Jussieu, 4 Place Jussieu - 75005 Paris
Room 304 (Access by  hall 65-66), Tower 65, 3rd floor


This work focuses on the design and development of the different sensory modalities for robot-rat Psikharpax. We are particularly interested in the tactile sense through the vibrissae (whiskers) which is very important for rats. There are few work on the use of the tactile modality in robotics and even less using whiskers. However, there are now sufficient biological data on this subject to allow us to design a bio-inspired artificial vibrissal system.
The hearing is also an important modality relatively little used in robotics. This thesis also contributes to the design of an artificial auditory system.
The vision is probably the most studied modality, or at least the most used in robotics. We therefore develop in this thesis an artificial visual system using technology developed by the BVS company, which has helped to fund this thesis in partnership with UPMC.
We particularly focus in visual attention through the saccadic system.
The brain region responsible for saccadic eye movements – the superior colliculus - is also an important region for multi-sensory integration. So our work also aims to integrate tactile, auditory and visual modalities in this system. The resulting model will then generate multimodal orientation behaviors.