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CRICKET INSPIRED PERCEPTION AND AUTONOMOUS DECISION AUTOMATA

Objective

By combining transdisciplinary knowledge ranging from sensory ecology to microtechnology, we will transfer knowledge from the sensing-perception-action mechanisms in insects escaping danger to the development of highly integrated artificial life-like miniature systems based on MEMS and Bio-Electronic technologies. Due to their unmatched sensitivity at the receptor level and the high speed of reaction, we will concentrate on the air currents perception and escape action arising from mechanoreceptor hairs of crickets, which respond to attacking predators. The degree of information redundancy from many hairs and the minimal configuration in crickets will be used to design large arrays of MEMS sensors. As an acid test, we will build a miniature demonstrator. By combining transdisciplinary knowledge ranging from sensory ecology to microtechnology, we will transfer knowledge from the sensing-perception-action mechanisms in insects escaping danger to the development of highly integrated artificial life-like miniature systems based on MEMS and Bio-Electronic technologies. Due to their unmatched sensitivity at the receptor level and the high speed of reaction, we will concentrate on the air currents perception and escape action arising from mechanoreceptor hairs of crickets, which respond to attacking predators. The degree of information redundancy from many hairs and the minimal configuration in crickets will be used to design large arrays of MEMS sensors. As an acid test, we will build a miniature demonstrator.

OBJECTIVES
Increase significantly the advancements of biomimetic life-like perception systems by providing novel data and concepts on a 'sensing-perception-action' chain. The specific objectives are the integration of knowledge from the biological paradigm (the flow of information along the chain for crickets avoiding danger) with the technological conceptualisation.
First, we will quantify the chain, from the stimulus, air velocity, to the escape response.
Second, we will abstract the information to provide the necessary technological developments (sensors, arrays, signal processing, bio-electronic interfaces) and their integration.
Third, we will develop the 'hardware', 'software' and 'wetware' for implementation in MEMS-based arrays of sensors, Bio-electronic interfaces and signal processing. Building a hybrid (living/inert) demonstrator in which life-like perception and response are implemented is our last aim.

DESCRIPTION OF WORK
Morphology of single sense organs will be obtained using optical-polarising (OM), scanning (SEM) and environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM). The mechanical properties of sense organs and associated tissues will be measured using a combination of techniques: microscopy, micro-mechanical testing, atomic force microscopy (AFM) and laser vibrometry (LV). Integrate the results into analytical and Finite Elements to assess the relative importance of variables on performance and to provide conceptualisation tools for the design of biomimetic man-made sensors. Use multi-camera video techniques for 24hrs recording in the field and record attack sequences on one of 3 cricket species. Measure ambient air particle displacement in the observed microhabitat. Using SEM mapping, map the entire cerci, focussing on the hairs, which morphologically are clearly responding to air velocity. Using lesion experiments analyse behavioural reactions to attacks as function of hair number/position and determine minimal characteristics.
Using very high speed video camera, air flow imaging techniques and associated analysis software, map the mechanical response of one hair to simple artificial and natural stimuli, as well as a canopy of hairs on the cerci. Characterize the time/space signal structure as represented by the hair movement using wavelets. Fed by sensing topology analysis of cricket cerci, the impact of these topologies on interconnection strategies will be examined and ways to implement such systems by means of MEMS fabrication technology will be devised. Look for sensor types not based on dissipation and modulation, as currently used, but rather on signal generation. Culturing neurons in networks on microelectronic devices. Fabrication of optimised microelectronic recording and stimulation devices.
Determination of the coupling properties of insect neurons with the planar recording and stimulation device. Building up a demonstrator by combining the sensor output a nd the stimulation input to the neuro-electronic device and using the neural network to process information.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE
Address
3, Rue Michel-ange
75794 Paris Cedex 16
France

Participants (4)

FORSCHUNGSZENTRUM JUELICH GMBH
Germany
Address
Leo Brandt Strasse
52425 Juelich
THE UNIVERSITY OF READING
United Kingdom
Address
Whiteknights
RG6 6AH Reading
UNIVERSITE FRANCOIS-RABELAIS
France
Address
3 Rue Des Tanneurs
37041 Tours Cedex 1
UNIVERSITEIT TWENTE
Netherlands
Address
Drienerlolaan 5
7522 NB Enschede