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Body schema in robotics: a review


Hoffmann, Matej; Marques, Hugo Gravato; Hernandez Arieta, Alejandro; Sumioka, Hidenobu; Lungarella, Max; Pfeifer, Rolf (2010). Body schema in robotics: a review. Autonomous Mental Development, 2(4):304-324.

Abstract

How is our body imprinted in our brain? This seemingly simple question is a subject of investigations of diverse disciplines, psychology, and philosophy originally complemented by neurosciences more recently. Despite substantial efforts, the mysteries of body representations are far from uncovered. The most widely used notions-body image and body schema-are still waiting to be clearly defined. The mechanisms that underlie body representations are coresponsible for the admiring capabilities that humans or many mammals can display: combining information from multiple sensory modalities, controlling their complex bodies, adapting to growth, failures, or using tools. These features are also desirable in robots. This paper surveys the body representations in biology from a functional or computational perspective to set ground for a review of the concept of body schema in robotics. First, we examine application-oriented research: how a robot can improve its capabilities by being able to automatically synthesize, extend, or adapt a model of its body. Second, we summarize the research area in which robots are used as tools to verify hypotheses on the mechanisms underlying biological body representations. We identify trends in these research areas and propose future research directions.

Abstract

How is our body imprinted in our brain? This seemingly simple question is a subject of investigations of diverse disciplines, psychology, and philosophy originally complemented by neurosciences more recently. Despite substantial efforts, the mysteries of body representations are far from uncovered. The most widely used notions-body image and body schema-are still waiting to be clearly defined. The mechanisms that underlie body representations are coresponsible for the admiring capabilities that humans or many mammals can display: combining information from multiple sensory modalities, controlling their complex bodies, adapting to growth, failures, or using tools. These features are also desirable in robots. This paper surveys the body representations in biology from a functional or computational perspective to set ground for a review of the concept of body schema in robotics. First, we examine application-oriented research: how a robot can improve its capabilities by being able to automatically synthesize, extend, or adapt a model of its body. Second, we summarize the research area in which robots are used as tools to verify hypotheses on the mechanisms underlying biological body representations. We identify trends in these research areas and propose future research directions.

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72 citations in Web of Science®
81 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Informatics
Dewey Decimal Classification:000 Computer science, knowledge & systems
Language:English
Date:2010
Deposited On:17 Jan 2011 10:30
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:35
Publisher:IEEE
ISSN:1943-0604
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1109/TAMD.2010.2086454
Other Identification Number:1562

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