AMouse: Bradbury's Robot Mice Get Real Whiskers

The AMouse artificial mouse is a robot with two active whisker arrays - made from real mouse whiskers. Part of the intent in building the robot mouse is to study biological models of mouse behavior and to investigate the interplay between different sensory modalities (visual and somatosensory). Science fiction fans, of course, know the real use of this research - to make Ray Bradbury's robot cleaning mice come to life.


(AMouse artificial mouse with real whiskers)

The AMouse robot consists of three basic systems: an omnidirectional camera (A) and its artificial whisker sensors (B) which are mounted on a mobile Khepera platform (C).


(Diagram of AMouse)

In setting up the whisker array (see picture below), the researchers noted that rats can move their whiskers separately in two dimensions, but mostly they move them in synchrony and in a forward/backward sweep. The selected design for the whisker array moves all whiskers synchronously in one dimension, which closely approximates the typical rat whisker motion.


(AMouse whisker array)

Each AMouse whisker is plugged directly into a capacitor microphone at the front of the robot. This capacitor can detect vibrations up to 3000 vibrations per second. The process imitates the way a real mouse uses its whiskers to sense, via the nerves in its nose.

Moving on its caterpillar tracks, the AMouse is programmed to proceed until it senses an obstacle; it then alters direction until it finds its way around it. But the robot can also sense acceleration and ground vibrations using its whiskers.

In his 1950 story There Will Come Soft Rains, Ray Bradbury wrote about a fully automated house with little cleaning robots:

Out of warrens in the wall, tiny robot mice darted. The rooms were acrawl with the small cleaning animals, all rubber and metal. They thudded against chairs, whirling their mustached runners, kneading the rug nap, sucking gently at hidden dust.
(Read more about Ray Bradbury's robot mouse)

All we need to do is get these researchers together with the folks from iRobot (makers of the Roomba cleaning robot), and we'll be all set!

If you're interested in robot mice, take a look at this SF in the News article - Micromouse Robot Builders Seek The Brass Cheese. Read more at The Artificial Mouse - A Robot with Whiskers and Vision [pdf], Robot uses whiskers and Robot feels objects with whiskers.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/25/2005)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )

Related News Stories - (" Robotics ")

Tesla Robotaxis Will Automatically Recharge Themselves
'Then it appeared to make up its mind, and trundled over to a wall socket...'- Stephen Barr, 1960.

Husqvarna Automower 435X AWD
'Gramp Stevens sat in a lawn chair, watching the mower at work...' - Clifford Simak, 1944.

Abundant Robotics Autonomous Apple Harvester Robot
'... little machines, that went from plant to plant... cutting off the ripe fruit.' Otfrid von Hanstein, 1935.

China Building Robot Wives
'Want a life-companion, a pleasant one?' - Alice W. Fuller, 1895.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Lilium Electric Air Taxi Prototype
'The air-taxi found its way past and around other ground-cars...'

Swedes Premiere T-Pod Driverless Electric Truck
'the trucks gulped packages and scurried like beetles...'

HEL TVD Laser System To Be Built By Dynetics Lockheed Martin
'Forthwith flashes of actual flame, a bright glare leaping from one to another, sprang from the scattered group of men.'

Alcarelle Synthetic Alcohol Like Star Trek Synthehol
Bottoms up!

Datagrid Model Generation Perfect For Eternal Cities Of Science Fiction
'... there was enough flexibility to allow for wide variation.

Kazahk Ironist Protester Arrested For Blank Sign Protest
'...a man carried a white rectangular sign, blank on both sides.'

Bitcoin Surges Again, To $7,000
'... electronic, private cash, unbacked by any government, untraceable, completely anonymous.'

China Develops Taste Testing Robots
'Install taste buds in the end of one tentacle...'

North Sea Stone Age Reconstruction And Philip K Dick
'Your Dip digs back into antiquity. Rome. Greece. Dust and old volumes.'

Tesla Robotaxis Will Automatically Recharge Themselves
'Then it appeared to make up its mind, and trundled over to a wall socket...'

New Lifelike Material Powered By Artificial Metabolism
'... The biological robots were not living creatures.'

Husqvarna Automower 435X AWD
'Gramp Stevens sat in a lawn chair, watching the mower at work...'

Elon Musk Foretells Tesla Sans Steering Wheel
'How about the steering wheel... I don't need one.'

Adversarial Patches Trick Computer Vision
'The surveillance cameras can all see it, but then they forget they’ve seen it.'

Amazon Warehouse Computer Can Fire People Now
'The system has already fired five people...'

BrainEx Restores Some Activity To Severed Pig Head
'... they placed the brain in a special solution, having all the properties of Nursing the brain cells.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.