Lateral Line Sensing

The lateral line of the fish is an integrated flow sensing system which provides sensory feedback correlated to velocity and acceleration of the flow. The competences of detecting prey and predators by their wake signatures, adapting to various flow regimes and harvesting energy through interaction with the vortices either generated environmentally or by other fish are just a few examples that are associated with this organ.

Inspired from lateral line of the fish, artificial lateral line sensors such as the one being developed in FILOSE, have been gaining more attention. The goal is to equip underwater robots with flow sensing capabilities to complement sensor modalities of sonar and vision. In the context of making use of lateral line signals we are working on a integrated signal processing framework that can be used to guide bio-inspired underwater locomotion. The desired framework should be capable of:

1.) detecting novel events in the environment such as changes in the flow patterns,
2.) characterizing these events to evaluate the current state of the robot-fluid interaction,
3.) high level decision making in guiding the robot to swim effectively.