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Bat Echolocation: Neuromorphic VLSI Modeling and Robotics
Dr. Timothy Horiuchi
Associate Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Univ. of Maryland
November 30, 2007, 2:00 p.m.
Jeong H. Kim Engineering Building, Rm. 1110
Bats have long been the envy of engineers, demonstrating fast, accurate sensing and agile flight control in complex 3D spaces, all in a tiny package. Their ability to fly rapidly through dark, cluttered forest environments in search of food far exceeds the capabilities of any existing man-made system. Current echolocation technology cannot meet the size, speed, and power constraints that this problem demands.
Neuromorphic VLSI is a circuit design paradigm which seeks to capture the computational power, real-time performance, adaptability, and low power consumption typical of neural systems by mimicking the essential morphology and data representations found in the brain. Using these design techniques, our laboratory has been pursuing the development of echolocation circuits that mimic the neural processing in the big brown bat, Eptesicus fuscus.
In this presentation, I will describe four activities in the laboratory: 1) VLSI modeling of the bat cochlea and physical models of the head that produce acoustic cues for sound localization, 2) neuromorphic VLSI modeling of the brainstem neural circuits that extract sound localization primitives, 3) development of neurally-plausible algorithms for transforming sonar data into movement strategies, and 4) recent experiments with live bats done in collaboration with Prof. Cynthia Moss here at UMD. I will describe how these efforts fit together to address our goal of developing a neurobiologically-realistic robot that mimics the echolocation behavior of the big brown bat.
Dr. Horiuchi earned both his B.S. in Electrical Engineering in 1989 and his Ph.D. with Prof. Christof Koch in Computation and Neural Systems in 1997 at the California Institute of Technology. His Ph.D. work focused on the design of analog VLSI circuits that mimic the neural circuits underlying saccadic eye movements in the primate. This work included the design of visual processing chips, auditory localization chips, non-volatile floating-gate learning, motor control, and attentional processing. He went on to do his postdoctoral work with Prof. Ernst Niebur in the Zanvyl Krieger Mind/Brain Institute at the Johns Hopkins University. In September 1999, Dr. Horiuchi joined the faculty of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Dept and the Institute for Systems Research at the University of Maryland. He continues to pursue the development of VLSI models of neural systems at the spiking neuron level and their demonstration on robotic platforms. His current focus is the understanding of the bat echolocation system.
Faculty Host: Dr. Reza Ghodssi
This Event is For: Public • Clark School