Neuromorphic control for optic-flow-based landing of MAVs using the Loihi processor

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Neuromorphic processors like Loihi offer a promising alternative to conventional computing modules for endowing constrained systems like micro air vehicles (MAVs) with robust, efficient and autonomous skills such as take-off and landing, obstacle avoidance, and pursuit. However, a major challenge for using such processors on robotic platforms is the reality gap between simulation and the real world. In this study, we present for the very first time a fully embedded application of the Loihi neuromorphic chip prototype in a flying robot. A spiking neural network (SNN) was evolved to compute the thrust command based on the divergence of the ventral optic flow field to perform autonomous landing. Evolution was performed in a Python-based simulator using the PySNN library. The resulting network architecture consists of only 35 neurons distributed among 3 layers. Quantitative analysis between simulation and Loihi reveals a root-mean-square error of the thrust setpoint as low as 0.005 g, along with a 99.8% matching of the spike sequences in the hidden layer, and 99.7% in the output layer. The proposed approach successfully bridges the reality gap, offering important insights for future neuromorphic applications in robotics. Supplementary material is available at https://mavlab.tudelft.nl/loihi/.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2021 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2021
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings
PublisherIEEE
Pages96-102
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-7281-9077-8
ISBN (Print)978-1-7281-9078-5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventICRA 2021: IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation - Hybrid at Xi'an, China
Duration: 30 May 20215 Jun 2021

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation
Volume2021-May
ISSN (Print)1050-4729

Conference

ConferenceICRA 2021
Country/TerritoryChina
CityHybrid at Xi'an
Period30/05/215/06/21

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