Ethology as an Inspiration for Adaptive Behavior Synthesis in Autonomous Planetary Rovers

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A navigation and control approach that supports adaptive behavior in rovers is presented. It is motivated by ethological models that suggest hierarchical organizations of behavior. The methodology employs fuzzy logic as a means to emulate animal behavior control mechanisms such as behavior activation levels, multi-behavior modulation, and threshold activation. The paper describes how these concepts can be tailored for autonomous navigation to provide a suitable framework for situated adaptation in rover control algorithms. In addition, an interesting characteristic of observed behavioral interactions achieved by an implementation of the approach is discussed, which is analogous to phenomena observed in measurements of animal brain activity during transitions between distinct behaviors.

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