Parasitic robot system for waypoint navigation of turtle
In research on small mobile robots and biomimetic robots, locomotion ability remains a major issue despite many advances in technology. However, evolution has led to there being many real animals capable of excellent locomotion. This paper presents a “parasitic robot system” whereby locomotion abilities of an animal are applied to a robot task. We chose a turtle as our first host animal and designed a parasitic robot that can perform “operant conditioning”. The parasitic robot, which is attached to the turtle, can induce object-tracking behavior of the turtle toward a Light Emitting Diode (LED) and positively reinforce the behavior through repeated stimulus-response interaction. After training sessions over five weeks, the robot could successfully control the direction of movement of the trained turtles in the waypoint navigation task. This hybrid animal-robot interaction system could provide an alternative solution to some of the limitations of conventional mobile robot systems in various fields, and could also act as a useful interaction system for the behavioral sciences.
Keywordparasitic robot operant conditioning waypoint navigation red-eared slider trachemys scripta elegans
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