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For behavioral experiments, we use koala and khepera robots from k-team and various sensors. In the past, we tested robot chemotaxis (Martinez et al., 2006) and robot infotaxis (Martin-Moraud and Martinez, 2010) with gas and heat sensors, respectively. Currently, we use the antennae of tethered moths mounted on a khepera robot as pheromone sensors (Martinez et al., 2013; Martinez et al., 2014). See the figure below and the video section for more details.


Figure 1. Biohybrid robotics. The robotic platform is composed of a tethered moth A. ipsilon mounted on a Khepera III robot. The electroantennogram (EAG) acquisition board consisted of several stages: voltage regulation providing  ±5V from a +12V battery, differential EAG input, instrumentation pre-amplification (INA121), filtering and amplification (0.1-500 Hz frequency band, 50 Hz notch filter, ), signal conditioning (0-5 V) and analog-to-digital conversion (8 bits, 1 kHz sampling frequency). The EAG signal is transmitted wireless via WIFI to a remote computer and used as input to a neuron model. The neuron simulation is performed in real-time with SIRENE, a C-based neural simulator developed in our team. A surge command is transmitted to the cyborg after each pheromone detection.


Relevant publications:

Martinez D., Arhidi L., Demondion E., Masson J.-B. and Lucas P. (2014) Using insect electroantennogram sensors on autonomous robots for olfactory searches. J. Vis. Exp (JoVE), (90), e51704, doi:10.3791/51704: VIDEO

Martinez D., Chaffiol A., Voges N., Gu Y., Anton S., Rospars J.-P. and Lucas P. (2013) Multiphasic On/Off pheromone signaling in moths as neural correlates of a search strategy. PLoS ONE, 8(4): e61220. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0061220: PDF with Supplementary Information

Martin-Moraud E. and Martinez D. (2010) Effectiveness and robustness of robot infotaxis for searching in dilute conditions. Frontiers in neurorobotics.

Martinez D., Rochel O. and Hugues E. (2006) A biomimetic robot for tracking specific odors in turbulent plumes. Autonomous Robot, Special Issue on Mobile Robot Olfaction, 20(3), pp. 185-195.