Towards a Neuromorphic Vestibular System

Federico Corradi, Davide Zambrano, Marco Raglianti, Giovanni Passetti, Cecilia Laschi, Giacomo Indiveri
2014 IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Circuits and Systems  
The vestibular system plays a crucial role in the sense of balance and spatial orientation in mammals. It is a sensory system that detects both rotational and translational motion of the head, via its semicircular canals and otoliths respectively. In this work, we propose a real-time hardware model of an artificial vestibular system, implemented using a custom neuromorphic Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) multi-neuron chip interfaced to a commercial Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU). The
more » ... cial vestibular system is realized with spiking neurons that reproduce the responses of biological hair cells present in the real semicircular canals and otholitic organs. We demonstrate the real-time performance of the hybrid analog-digital system and characterize its response properties, presenting measurements of a successful encoding of angular velocities as well as linear accelerations. As an application, we realized a novel implementation of a recurrent integrator network capable of keeping track of the current angular position. The experimental results provided validate the hardware implementation via comparisons with a detailed computational neuroscience model. In addition to being an ideal tool for developing bio-inspired robotic technologies, this work provides a basis for developing a complete low-power neuromorphic vestibular system which integrates the hardware model of the neural signal processing pathway described with custom bio-mimetic gyroscopic sensors, exploiting neuromorphic principles in both mechanical and electronic aspects.
doi:10.1109/tbcas.2014.2358493 pmid:25314706 fatcat:boou6usqdjclpi5s5qj7aadpdm