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Virtual spiders guide robotic control design

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2 Author(s)
Krink, T. ; Aarhus Univ., Denmark ; Vollruth, F.

Traditionally, researchers have studied natural science phenomena by describing observations and by experimentally isolating and analyzing pertinent parameters and factors. As computational power has mushroomed in recent years, analysis of biological systems has increasingly involved formal models coupled with computer simulations. Lately, investigators have turned to individual-based models that mimic the complexity of biological processes by using repeated local interactions between units, described in few simple behavior rules. By mimicking plant morphology or the problem-solving capabilities of “social” robots, computer scientists can use a comparable concept for simulation, applied chaos theory, artificial intelligence, and artificial life. In our approach, called TheseusV, we used this approach to mimic the spatial orientation of spiders during web construction. As this article shows, behavioral principles of arthropods (spiders and insects) during orientation are interesting not only for research into the behavior of real animals, but also because their robustness and simplicity make them potentially quite useful for controlling autonomous agents such as insect robots. After all, most real bugs are notoriously good at coping with unpredictable environments, so lessons we learn from animal models can also enhance artificial-life models and offer new insight into spatial orientation to AI researchers

Published in:

Intelligent Systems and their Applications, IEEE  (Volume:14 ,  Issue: 5 )