The development of a bio-inspired magnetoelectrosensory navigation system

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N00014-10-C-0420
Agency Tracking Number: N09A-024-0007
Amount: $740,163.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2010
Solicitation Year: 2009
Solicitation Topic Code: N09-T024
Solicitation Number: 2009.A
Small Business Information
Kinea Design, LLC
1711-1 Darrow Ave, Evanston, IL, 60201-
DUNS: 141312152
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Malcolm MacIver
 Assistant Professor
 (847) 491-3540
Business Contact
 Michael Peshkin
Title: President
Phone: (847) 491-4630
Research Institution
 Northwestern University
 Susan G Ross
 633 Clark Street
Evanston, IL, 60208-1110
 (847) 491-3003
 Nonprofit college or university
Many aquatic creatures transduce magnetic and electric fields for navigation cues and feedback control. Such sensing capabilities would greatly advance AUV technology. We will continue the co-design of sensing and motion capabilities along with empowering algorithms for underwater perception and navigation. We have made significant advancements in active electrosense and inductive-magnetosense in Phase I, and we will continue to improve its capabilities by employing low-noise digital electronics. We will also investigate the imaging of nearby spatial electrical impedance using a new architecture of active electrosense. We will develop new algorithms for exploration, feature classification, and navigation without a sensor map. The new hardware and algorithms will be demonstrated on a 6 degree-of-freedom fully-automated gantry. Stereotyped motions emerging from the exploration algorithms in the gantry test bed will give insight to desirable motion capabilities for an AUV with electrosense. Evolution suggests that the propulsion system of the weakly electric fish be an excellent complement to electrosense. Thus, we will build and test a robot with a ventral ribbon fin and pectoral dive planes—similar to the propulsion system of weakly electric fish—with an integrated electrosensory system for closed-loop control.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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