Primate-inspired Autonomous Navigation Using Mental Rotation and Advice-Giving
Arkin, Ronald C.
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The cognitive process that enables many primate species to efficiently traverse their environment has been a subject of numerous studies. Mental rotation is hypothesized to be one such process. The evolutionary causes for dominance in primates of mental rotation over its counterpart, rotational invariance, is still not conclusively understood. Advice-giving offers a possible explanation for this dominance in more evolved primate species such as humans. This project aims at exploring the relationship between advice-giving and mental rotation by designing a system that combines the two processes in order to achieve successful navigation to a goal location. Two approaches to visual advice-giving were explored namely, segment based and object based advice-giving. The results obtained upon execution of the navigation algorithm on a Pioneer 2-DX robotic platform offers evidence regarding a linkage between advice-giving and mental rotation. An overall navigational accuracy of 90.9% and 71.43% were obtained respectively for the segment-based and object-based methods. These results also indicate how the two processes can function together in order to accomplish a navigational task in the absence of any external aid, as is the case with primates.