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The paper discusses robot navigation from biological inspiration. The authors sought to build a model of the rodent brain that is suitable for practical robot navigation. The core model, dubbed RatSLAM, has been demonstrated to have exactly the same advantages described earlier: it can build, maintain, and use maps simultaneously over extended periods of time and can construct maps of large and complex areas from very weak geometric information. The work contrasts with other efforts to embody models of rat brains in robots. The article describes the key elements of the known biology of the rat brain in relation to navigation and how the RatSLAM model captures the ideas from biology in a fashion suitable for implementation on a robotic platform. The paper then outline RatSLAM's performance in two difficult robot navigation challenges, demonstrating how a cognitive robotics approach to navigation can produce results that rival other state of the art approaches in robotics.
Date of Publication: September 2009