A neuro-endocrine inspired approach to long term energy autonomy in sailing robots.

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Type Paper
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2010
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There is an increasing desire to deploy autonomous robots into harsh environments where humans do not wish to go or cannot go. These robots have only infrequent contact with human operators and therefore, must be highly autonomous, both in terms of control and energy. Sailing robots represent a good example of such robots as the primary locomotive force is provided by the wind and only small amounts of electrical power are required to run the onboard electronics. An artificial neuro-endocrine controller inspired by the mammalian neural and endocrine systems offers, the ability to generate a hormone which can either inhibit or excite a neural network to reduce or increase its level of activity. Experiments using hormones linked to robot's battery level and the level of sunlight from a photovoltaic solar panel show that behaviour can be modified in a meaningful manner to manage long term power consumption.