Active pre-touch sensing

Full Title: 
Active pre-touch sensing: from biology to neuromorphic biomimetic artifacts
01.03.2014 until 31.12.2018

A reliable 3D perception spanning the full motor volume is essential for robotic agents. The need to provide trustworthy data at all phases of motion is a substantial challenge and current standard approaches rely on far range sensors as well as contact sensors, while missing the intermediate range. We here explore the suitability of a novel biologically-inspired electric pre-touch sensing device coupled to a neuromorphic spiking neural network


to include pre-touch near-range information.The sensor data will be processed using temporal coding approaches inspired by data in electric fish. More specifically, we use knowledge gained in the studies of the biological sensory system in order to build a neuromorphic pre-touch sensing system, suitable for robotic applications. Furthermore, at a later stage, this project will feed back to biology by supporting novel ways of stimulating and understanding the biological system. Custom made neuromorphic hardware will guarantee real-time and low power computation of the sensor data, and the sparse temporal coding will ensure low transmission bandwidth.