A Neurorobotic Embodiment for Exploring the Dynamical Interactions of a Spiking Cerebellar Model and a Robot Arm During Vision-based Manipulation Tasks

Omar Zahra, David Navarro-Alarcon, Silvia Tolu

While the original goal for developing robots is replacing humans in dangerous and tedious tasks, the final target shall be completely mimicking the human cognitive and motor behaviour. Hence, building detailed computational models for the human brain is one of the reasonable ways to attain this. The cerebellum is one of the key players in our neural system to guarantee dexterous manipulation and coordinated movements as concluded from lesions in that region. Studies suggest that it acts as a forward model providing anticipatory corrections for the sensory signals based on observed discrepancies from the reference values. While most studies consider providing the teaching signal as error in joint-space, few studies consider the error in task-space and even fewer consider the spiking nature of the cerebellum on the cellular-level. In this study, a detailed cellular-level forward cerebellar model is developed, including modeling of Golgi and Basket cells which are usually neglected in previous studies. To preserve the biological features of the cerebellum in the developed model, a hyperparameter optimization method tunes the network accordingly. The efficiency and biological plausibility of the proposed cerebellar-based controller is then demonstrated under different robotic manipulation tasks reproducing motor behaviour observed in human reaching experiments.

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