2019 Student Research Conference:
32nd Annual Student Research Conference

An Autonomous Robot as a Model for Odor-Based Navigation in Rodents


Miles H. Thies
Dr. Vayujeet Gokhale, Faculty Mentor

Animals rely on a variety of sensory signals to make important decisions during tasks such as foraging and mate selection. Odor-based navigation in rodents is a robust model for sensory driven decision-making as rodents have to process highly fluctuating odor plumes in order to make complex decisions. While past studies have revealed a variety of search strategies in rodents, little is known about the underlying cognitive algorithms that incorporate these strategies into rapid decision-making. To approach this problem, we have begun the development of an autonomous mobile robot to be used as a model for odor-based navigation in rodents. Here, we demonstrate the utility of this robot with a navigation algorithm that recognizes high odor concentration areas in biologically relevant time scales. These results demonstrate the potential of robotics as a modeling tool in future sensory processing studies.

Keywords: Neural Engineering

Topic(s):Physics

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 103-6
Location: BH 212
Time: 9:45

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