Evolution has honed predatory skills in the natural world where localizing and intercepting fast-moving prey is required. The current generation of robotic systems mimics these biological systems using deep learning. High-speed processing of the camera frames using convolutional neural networks (CNN) (frame pipeline) on such constrained aerial edge-robots gets resource-limited. Adding more compute resources also eventually limits the throughput at the frame rate of the camera as frame-only traditional systems fail to capture the detailed temporal dynamics of the environment. Bio-inspired event cameras and spiking neural networks (SNN) provide an asynchronous sensor-processor pair (event pipeline) capturing the continuous temporal details of the scene for high-speed but lag in terms of accuracy. In this work, we propose a target localization system combining event-camera and SNN-based high-speed target estimation and frame-based camera and CNN-driven reliable object detection by fusing complementary spatio-temporal prowess of event and frame pipelines. One of our main contributions involves the design of an SNN filter that borrows from the neural mechanism for ego-motion cancelation in houseflies. It fuses the vestibular sensors with the vision to cancel the activity corresponding to the predator's self-motion. We also integrate the neuro-inspired multi-pipeline processing with task-optimized multi-neuronal pathway structure in primates andmore »
REIP: A Reconfigurable Environmental Intelligence Platform and Software Framework for Fast Sensor Network Prototyping
Sensor networks have dynamically expanded our ability to monitor and study the world. Their presence and need keep increasing, and new hardware configurations expand the range of physical stimuli that can be accurately recorded. Sensors are also no longer simply recording the data, they process it and transform into something useful before uploading to the cloud. However, building sensor networks is costly and very time consuming. It is difficult to build upon other people’s work and there are only a few open-source solutions for integrating different devices and sensing modalities. We introduce REIP, a Reconfigurable Environmental Intelligence Platform for fast sensor network prototyping. REIP’s first and most central tool, implemented in this work, is an open-source software framework, an SDK, with a flexible modular API for data collection and analysis using multiple sensing modalities. REIP is developed with the aim of being user-friendly, device-agnostic, and easily extensible, allowing for fast prototyping of heterogeneous sensor networks. Furthermore, our software framework is implemented in Python to reduce the entrance barrier for future contributions. We demonstrate the potential and versatility of REIP in real world applications, along with performance studies and benchmark REIP SDK against similar systems.
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