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Connecting Artificial Brains to Robots in a Comprehensive Simulation Framework: The Neurorobotics Platform.
Front Neurorobot. 2017; 11:2.FN

Abstract

Combined efforts in the fields of neuroscience, computer science, and biology allowed to design biologically realistic models of the brain based on spiking neural networks. For a proper validation of these models, an embodiment in a dynamic and rich sensory environment, where the model is exposed to a realistic sensory-motor task, is needed. Due to the complexity of these brain models that, at the current stage, cannot deal with real-time constraints, it is not possible to embed them into a real-world task. Rather, the embodiment has to be simulated as well. While adequate tools exist to simulate either complex neural networks or robots and their environments, there is so far no tool that allows to easily establish a communication between brain and body models. The Neurorobotics Platform is a new web-based environment that aims to fill this gap by offering scientists and technology developers a software infrastructure allowing them to connect brain models to detailed simulations of robot bodies and environments and to use the resulting neurorobotic systems for in silico experimentation. In order to simplify the workflow and reduce the level of the required programming skills, the platform provides editors for the specification of experimental sequences and conditions, environments, robots, and brain-body connectors. In addition to that, a variety of existing robots and environments are provided. This work presents the architecture of the first release of the Neurorobotics Platform developed in subproject 10 "Neurorobotics" of the Human Brain Project (HBP). At the current state, the Neurorobotics Platform allows researchers to design and run basic experiments in neurorobotics using simulated robots and simulated environments linked to simplified versions of brain models. We illustrate the capabilities of the platform with three example experiments: a Braitenberg task implemented on a mobile robot, a sensory-motor learning task based on a robotic controller, and a visual tracking embedding a retina model on the iCub humanoid robot. These use-cases allow to assess the applicability of the Neurorobotics Platform for robotic tasks as well as in neuroscientific experiments.

Authors+Show Affiliations

The BioRobotics Institute, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna , Pontedera , Italy.The BioRobotics Institute, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna , Pontedera , Italy.The BioRobotics Institute, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna , Pontedera , Italy.The BioRobotics Institute, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna , Pontedera , Italy.Department of Intelligent Systems and Production Engineering (ISPE - IDS/TKS), FZI Research Center for Information Technology , Karlsruhe , Germany.Department of Intelligent Systems and Production Engineering (ISPE - IDS/TKS), FZI Research Center for Information Technology , Karlsruhe , Germany.Department of Software Engineering (SE), FZI Research Center for Information Technology , Karlsruhe , Germany.Department of Intelligent Systems and Production Engineering (ISPE - IDS/TKS), FZI Research Center for Information Technology , Karlsruhe , Germany.Department of Intelligent Systems and Production Engineering (ISPE - IDS/TKS), FZI Research Center for Information Technology , Karlsruhe , Germany.Department of Software Engineering (SE), FZI Research Center for Information Technology , Karlsruhe , Germany.Computer and Robot Vision Laboratory, Instituto de Sistemas e Robotica, Instituto Superior Tecnico , Lisbon , Portugal.The BioRobotics Institute, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna , Pontedera , Italy.Department of Intelligent Systems and Production Engineering (ISPE - IDS/TKS), FZI Research Center for Information Technology , Karlsruhe , Germany.Department of Informatics, Technical University of Munich , Garching , Germany.Fortiss GmbH , Munich , Germany.Blue Brain Project (BBP), École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) , Genève , Switzerland.Blue Brain Project (BBP), École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) , Genève , Switzerland.Department of Computer Architecture and Technology, CITIC, University of Granada , Granada , Spain.Department of Computer Architecture and Technology, CITIC, University of Granada , Granada , Spain.Department of Informatics, Technical University of Munich , Garching , Germany.Department of Informatics, Technical University of Munich , Garching , Germany.Department of Informatics, Technical University of Munich , Garching , Germany.Department of Informatics, Technical University of Munich , Garching , Germany.Department of Informatics, Technical University of Munich , Garching , Germany.Department of Informatics, Technical University of Munich , Garching , Germany.Department of Informatics, Technical University of Munich , Garching , Germany.Fortiss GmbH , Munich , Germany.Department of Intelligent Systems and Production Engineering (ISPE - IDS/TKS), FZI Research Center for Information Technology , Karlsruhe , Germany.Department of Intelligent Systems and Production Engineering (ISPE - IDS/TKS), FZI Research Center for Information Technology , Karlsruhe , Germany.The BioRobotics Institute, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna , Pontedera , Italy.Department of Informatics, Technical University of Munich , Garching , Germany.Blue Brain Project (BBP), École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) , Genève , Switzerland.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

28179882

Citation

Falotico, Egidio, et al. "Connecting Artificial Brains to Robots in a Comprehensive Simulation Framework: the Neurorobotics Platform." Frontiers in Neurorobotics, vol. 11, 2017, p. 2.
Falotico E, Vannucci L, Ambrosano A, et al. Connecting Artificial Brains to Robots in a Comprehensive Simulation Framework: The Neurorobotics Platform. Front Neurorobot. 2017;11:2.
Falotico, E., Vannucci, L., Ambrosano, A., Albanese, U., Ulbrich, S., Vasquez Tieck, J. C., Hinkel, G., Kaiser, J., Peric, I., Denninger, O., Cauli, N., Kirtay, M., Roennau, A., Klinker, G., Von Arnim, A., Guyot, L., Peppicelli, D., Martínez-Cañada, P., Ros, E., ... Gewaltig, M. O. (2017). Connecting Artificial Brains to Robots in a Comprehensive Simulation Framework: The Neurorobotics Platform. Frontiers in Neurorobotics, 11, 2. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnbot.2017.00002
Falotico E, et al. Connecting Artificial Brains to Robots in a Comprehensive Simulation Framework: the Neurorobotics Platform. Front Neurorobot. 2017;11:2. PubMed PMID: 28179882.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Connecting Artificial Brains to Robots in a Comprehensive Simulation Framework: The Neurorobotics Platform. AU - Falotico,Egidio, AU - Vannucci,Lorenzo, AU - Ambrosano,Alessandro, AU - Albanese,Ugo, AU - Ulbrich,Stefan, AU - Vasquez Tieck,Juan Camilo, AU - Hinkel,Georg, AU - Kaiser,Jacques, AU - Peric,Igor, AU - Denninger,Oliver, AU - Cauli,Nino, AU - Kirtay,Murat, AU - Roennau,Arne, AU - Klinker,Gudrun, AU - Von Arnim,Axel, AU - Guyot,Luc, AU - Peppicelli,Daniel, AU - Martínez-Cañada,Pablo, AU - Ros,Eduardo, AU - Maier,Patrick, AU - Weber,Sandro, AU - Huber,Manuel, AU - Plecher,David, AU - Röhrbein,Florian, AU - Deser,Stefan, AU - Roitberg,Alina, AU - van der Smagt,Patrick, AU - Dillman,Rüdiger, AU - Levi,Paul, AU - Laschi,Cecilia, AU - Knoll,Alois C, AU - Gewaltig,Marc-Oliver, Y1 - 2017/01/25/ PY - 2016/10/11/received PY - 2017/01/04/accepted PY - 2017/2/10/entrez PY - 2017/2/10/pubmed PY - 2017/2/10/medline KW - brain simulation KW - neurorobotics KW - robot programming KW - robot simulation KW - software architectures KW - web technologies SP - 2 EP - 2 JF - Frontiers in neurorobotics JO - Front Neurorobot VL - 11 N2 - Combined efforts in the fields of neuroscience, computer science, and biology allowed to design biologically realistic models of the brain based on spiking neural networks. For a proper validation of these models, an embodiment in a dynamic and rich sensory environment, where the model is exposed to a realistic sensory-motor task, is needed. Due to the complexity of these brain models that, at the current stage, cannot deal with real-time constraints, it is not possible to embed them into a real-world task. Rather, the embodiment has to be simulated as well. While adequate tools exist to simulate either complex neural networks or robots and their environments, there is so far no tool that allows to easily establish a communication between brain and body models. The Neurorobotics Platform is a new web-based environment that aims to fill this gap by offering scientists and technology developers a software infrastructure allowing them to connect brain models to detailed simulations of robot bodies and environments and to use the resulting neurorobotic systems for in silico experimentation. In order to simplify the workflow and reduce the level of the required programming skills, the platform provides editors for the specification of experimental sequences and conditions, environments, robots, and brain-body connectors. In addition to that, a variety of existing robots and environments are provided. This work presents the architecture of the first release of the Neurorobotics Platform developed in subproject 10 "Neurorobotics" of the Human Brain Project (HBP). At the current state, the Neurorobotics Platform allows researchers to design and run basic experiments in neurorobotics using simulated robots and simulated environments linked to simplified versions of brain models. We illustrate the capabilities of the platform with three example experiments: a Braitenberg task implemented on a mobile robot, a sensory-motor learning task based on a robotic controller, and a visual tracking embedding a retina model on the iCub humanoid robot. These use-cases allow to assess the applicability of the Neurorobotics Platform for robotic tasks as well as in neuroscientific experiments. SN - 1662-5218 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/28179882/Connecting_Artificial_Brains_to_Robots_in_a_Comprehensive_Simulation_Framework:_The_Neurorobotics_Platform_ L2 - https://doi.org/10.3389/fnbot.2017.00002 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -
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