EnVision: A BioInspired Vision System for Envirobot


Envirobot is a biologically inspired lamprey like robot. The purpose of Envirobot is to provide search and surveying services in smaller to medium sized bodies of water such as lakes or ponds. In order to do so effectively we would like to add a vision system to Envirobot. Currently Envirobot has no means of sensing any visual input from its surroundings. Thus the goal of this project is to provide Envirobot with means of visual input as well as demonstrate its functionality via a biologically inspired visual guidance model. In particular the model from Computational Model of Visually Guided Locomotion in Lamprey was chosen. It provides a spiking neural network model that enables a simulated lamprey to respond to varying stimuli such as preys, predators and obstacles from visual input by generating the appropriate motor responses to either approach, escape from or avoid their targets respectively. It also includes mechanisms for prioritizing between multiple targets of either the same or different type. In this paper we will explain the selected model, how we implement it in a Webots 8 Simulation and the experiments we perform on the simulation to observe the model’s behavior. Finally we will discuss the hardware aspect of the project including design choices, hardware selection and practical issues.