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Effectiveness and robustness of robot infotaxis for searching in dilute conditions

Eduardo Martin Moraud 1 Dominique Martinez 1 
1 CORTEX - Neuromimetic intelligence
INRIA Lorraine, LORIA - Laboratoire Lorrain de Recherche en Informatique et ses Applications
Abstract : Tracking scents and locating odor sources is a major challenge in robotics. The odor plume is not a continuous cloud but consists of intermittent odor patches dispersed by the wind. Far from the source, the probability of encountering one of these patches vanishes. In such dilute conditions, a good strategy is to first 'explore' the environment and gather information, then 'exploit' current knowledge and direct toward the estimated source location. Infotactic navigation has been recently proposed to strike the balance between exploration and exploitation. Infotaxis was tested in simulation and produced trajectories similar to those observed in the flight of moths attracted by a sexual pheromone. In this paper, we assess the performance of infotaxis in dilute conditions by combining robotic experiments and simulations. Our results indicate that infotaxis is both effective (seven detections on average were sufficient to reach the source) and robust (the source is found in presence of inaccurate modeling by the searcher). The biomimetic characteristic of infotaxis is also preserved when searching with a robot in a real environment.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, March 30, 2010 - 10:42:23 AM
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Eduardo Martin Moraud, Dominique Martinez. Effectiveness and robustness of robot infotaxis for searching in dilute conditions. Frontiers in Neurorobotics, Frontiers, 2010, 4 (1), pp.1-8. ⟨10.3389/fnbot.2010.00001⟩. ⟨inria-00467858⟩



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