References that might be useful in the pursuit of synthetic sensory systems

UNDER CONSTRUCTION: a quick update has been done in June 2011, but really, this page needs a lot more work

There are lot of books on real sensory systems. This is not the place to look for them!

I have divided up the area into the different senses.

General Overview

There is a recent general overview of the neuromorphic approach by Liu and Delbruck. Neuromorphic sensory systems. Current Opinion in Neurobiology (2010) vol. 20 (3) pp. 288-295. In addition, the previous page is really an attempt at a general overview. My recent paper Neuromorphic Systems: past, present and future does contain something of a historical overview.

Synthetic Auditory Systems

The original workers in this area are John Lazzaro and (of course!) Carver Mead. John Lazzaro's papers are online. Synthetic audition includes sound localization, and Richard Duda has done considerable work on this area. Andre van Schaik (University of Sydney) has developed chips in the auditory modelling area, as has Shih-chii Liu at INI, Zurich.

The ancient (!) 1st European Workshop on Neuromorphic Systems (Stirling, 29-31 August 1997) includes abstracts by S.C. Lim, A.R. Temple, S.R. Jones, T.P. Zahn, R. Izak, K. Trott, P. Paschke, Amir Hussain, Douglas R. Campbell, Mark A. Glover, Alister Hamilton, Leslie S. Smith which are relevant.

There is also now considerable interest in the use of the technologies from neuromorphic cochleae in auditory prostheses:

Synthetic Visual Systems

There's bneen a great deal of work done in this area, reviewd in Ji-Hong et al, IEEE Industrial Mechatronics and Automation, 2009. ICIMA 2009. International Conference on. : some of it relates to developing novel imaging systems that can, for example, code changes in an image (Lichsteiner and Delbruck), and send these out down an address-event (or other) bus. Then there's a vast amount of work done on neuromorphic sensors intended to be implanted into the retina (or even brainstem or visual cortex), to provide vision to the seriously visually impaired.

In addition, the EWNS1 abstracts include one by G. Indiveri.

Synthetic Olfactory Systems

There is considerable work in this area: for example see, the Handbook of Machine Olfaction: Electronic Nose Technology, or the web page of Tim Pearce at Leicester, UK. In addition, the EWNS1 abstracts include one by T.C. Pearce, M. Elshaw.

Synthetic Proprioceptary Systems

There seems relatively little work in this area. There is some early work by Nohama et al on an electrotactile stimulator. However, improvements in prosthetics, and in silicon/neural interfacing do seem to be resulting in some ongoing research, for eaxmple, Le Moyne et al's work for gait rehabilitation.

Other Synthetic Sensory Modalities

One other synthetic sense is Sonar. Bats sonar sense is well known and documented, and there are people working on neuromorphic versions of this, reviewed by Horiuchi in 2005. Work by Carmena and Hallam at Informatics at the University of Edinburgh investigated is use for mobile robot navigation.

Implementation Technologies

In the above, the implementation technology has been neuromorphic systems, primarily using either analog electronics, or some hybrid technology, often using pulses (spikes) for communication between the different elements. This reflects the fact that we are very good at electronic technology. It is worth noting that MRMS echnology is now being used along with electronics to develop new types of sensors, for example accelerometers, as well as microphones, including novel research microphones intended for sound interpretation.

Back to Synthetic Sensory Systems page

Leslie Smith Home Page
Department of Computing Science
University of Stirling
Stirling FK9 4LA, Scotland
Page last updated June 2011 (but really, needs to be done better).