The development of an ‘artificial brain’ is one of the greatest challenges in artificial intelligence, and its success will have innumerable benefits in many and diverse fields from robotics to cognitive psychology. Most research effort is spent on modelling vertebrate brains. Yet, smaller brains can display comparable cognitive sophistication while being more experimentally accessible and amenable to modelling.
The ‘Green Brain Project’ combines computational neuroscience modelling, learning and decision theory, modern parallel computing methods, and robotics with data from state-of-the-art neurobiological experiments on cognition in the honeybee Apis mellifera to build and deploy a modular model of the honeybee brain describing detection, classification, and learning in the olfactory and optic pathways as well as multi-sensory integration across these sensory modalities.
My Role in the GB Project:
I was a Robotics Postdoctoral Researcher on the ‘Green Brain Project’ in Sheffield. The Green Brain team composed of researchers of various backgrounds from the University of Sheffield and the University of Sussex and was working to build a neuromimetic model of a honeybee brain within a fully autonomous flying platform.
My focus was on embodiment of animal behavior and on the development of biomimetic algorithms for navigation and control of UAVs. Since the start of the project, I helped the team to setup the lab, built our robots, and demonstrated sophisticated visual-based navigation and cognitive functions.
Our lab and the robotic platforms are for development and testing of the ‘green brain’. We have a dedicated flying room in the Kroto Research Institute at the University of Sheffield. In this lab, I have installed a Vicon Motion Tracking System for testing and validation. See below for an inside look into our lab:
As platforms for the embodiment of the GB, the robot team is now comprised of 3 quadcopters and 1 ground robot each with unique abilities and configurations. All of the robots are being used for testing and further development of the models. Additionally all of these platforms have a huge support community involved in the development of open-source software.
To learn more about the ‘Green Brain Project’ in general, visit our webpage: www.greenbrainproject.co.uk! It has information about our team, collaborators, resources, outreach projects, and up-to-date progress
To follow our progress, the GB twitter is the best place to do this!