Biorobotics aims not only to elucidate the sensorimotor mechanisms of animals, but also to embody them sparingly aboard bio-inspired robots, which are then true proofs of concept evolving in a real environment. This approach thus makes it possible to confirm or invalidate what we think we have understood about animal functioning. Thus, through an interaction between different scientific fields, Biorobotics simultaneously advances the understanding of the sensorimotor mechanisms of animals, but also provides robots with the agility of animals through a more ecological sensorimotor coupling (in the sense of James J. Gibson) with the environment.
AntBot, a robot ant capable of navigating outdoors and autonomously, without GPS with only 14 pixels.
The LORA hovercraft robot embodies the visual guidance strategy of the bee in the horizontal plane based on optical flow. The LORA hovercraft is fully actuated, allowing it to navigate through a tunnel with an unknown geometric configuration.
The X4-MaG flying robot integrates a biomimetic and parsimonious visual system dedicated to near-obstacle navigation by means of self-adaptive visual sensors, called M²APIX, each composed of only 12 pixels whose optics and phototransduction are inspired by the compound eye of the bee. X4-MaG embeds 8 M²APIX sensors and can measure the optical flow in the lateral and ventral regions in the manner of bees.
The first autonomous robot in the world guided by optical flow, the Robot-fly (also called Robot-mouche) is equipped with 116 elementary motion detectors made of fully analog electronics. The Robot-fly was able to run at 50 cm/s while avoiding obstacles by detecting them on the basis of optic flow in the manner of flies.