Environmental Fluid Mechanics

, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp 95-114

First online:

Integration of Flow and Chemical Sensing for Guidance of Autonomous Marine Robots in Turbulent Flows

  • Frank W. GrassoAffiliated withMarine Biological Laboratory, Boston University Marine ProgramDepartment of Psychology, Brooklyn College, CUNY
  • , Jelle AtemaAffiliated withMarine Biological Laboratory, Boston University Marine Program

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We explored the utility of odor-gated rheotaxis (OGR) with a biomimetic robot. OGR is a widely accepted biological plume-tracing strategy that uses mean flow and chemical detection for guidance. In experiments which contrasted the `classic' single-sensor formulation of the strategy against one which used two sensors and against another which combined the use of two sensors and memory of past stimulation patterns we quantified the relative advantages of each. The use of two, spatially separated, chemical sensors confers a significant advantage and still greater performance is obtained with rudimentary memory. The performance of the American lobster under the same turbulent dispersal regime leads us to conclude that significantly more effective plume tracing strategies remain to be discovered.

autonomous behavior chemo-orientation lobster plume tracing robot turbulent dispersal