From Wheels to Wings with Evolutionary Spiking Circuits

Dario Floreano, Jean-Christophe Zufferey and Jean-Daniel Nicoud
Autonomous Systems Laboratory
Institute of Systems Engineering
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne

Citation: D. Floreano, J.-C. Zufferey and J.-D. Nicoud [2005]. Artificial Life. Vol. 11, Issues 1-2, pp. 121 - 138 - Winter-Spring 2005. Special Issue on Embodied and Situated Cognition. Preprint available in pdf format.

Abstract: We give an overview of the EPFL indoor flying project, whose goal is to evolve neural controllers for autonomous, adaptive, indoor micro-flyers. Indoor flight is still a challenge because it requires miniaturization, energy efficiency, and control of nonlinear flight dynamics. This ongoing project consists of developing a flying, vision-based micro-robot, a bio-inspired controller composed of adaptive spiking neurons directly mapped into digital microcontrollers, and a method to evolve such a neural controller without human intervention. This article describes the motivation and methodology used to reach our goal as well as the results of a number of preliminary experiments on vision-based wheeled and flying robots.

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Last Modified: May 27, 2005