A Robot Finds Its Way Using Artificial “GPS” Brain Cells

The behavior and interplay of two types of neurons in the brain helps give humans and other animals an uncanny ability to navigate by building a mental map of their surroundings. Now one robot has been given a similar cluster of virtual cells to help it find its own way around.Researchers in Singapore simulated two types of cells known to be used for navigation in the brain—so-called “place” and “grid” cells—and showed they could enable a small-wheeled robot to find its way around. Rather than simulate the cells physically, they created a simple two-dimensional model of the cells in software. The work was led by Haizhou Li, a professor at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). “Artificial grid cells could provide an adaptive and robust mapping and navigation…


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