Study on mutual adaptation between a robot and an animal based on learning psychology
We believe that mutual adaptations between a machine and a human is a key technology to develop more user-friendly machines. The purpose of this study is to establish fundamental technologies for the mutual adaptations through interaction experiments between a mobile robot and an animal. Rats, which are one of the most popular experimental animals in learning psychology, are selected as the experimental animal in this study.
This study consists of three major parts. The first one is design of mobile robots which interact with rats. Mechanical structures and electrical control systems are designed using bioinspired design method. Several robots, which have different features and functions, are developed. The second one is development of behavior models for the robots, which enables them to adapt to the rats. The behavior models are developed based on techniques of machine learning and learning principles of real animals, which had been obtained in learning psychology. The third one is interaction experiments between the robot and a rat. The robot, whose behavior is autonomously generated by the behavior model, and the rat are both released in a large box. Interaction between them are observed and analyzed. Observation and analysis methods in animal psychology and ethology are used in this study. Fundamental principles about the mutual adaptations between a machine and an animals are then clarified through analysis.