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Animal brain inspired AI is “game changer” for robots

  • June 14, 2024
  • 2 min read
Animal brain inspired AI is “game changer” for robots

A team of researchers from Delft University of Technology has developed a drone that flies autonomously using neuromorphic image processing and control based on the workings of animal brains. Animal brains use less data and energy compared to current deep neural networks that run on graphics chips or GPUs. This makes neuromorphic processors suitable for smaller drones as they don’t need heavy and cumbersome hardware and batteries.

The results showed that it can process data 64 times faster while using three times less energy compared to running on a GPU. Further development is needed for the technology but it could lead to drones as small, agile, and intelligent as flying insects or birds.

The findings were recently published in Science Robotics.

Artificial intelligence has great potential to offer autonomous robots with the intelligence needed for real-world applications. But current AI technology relies on a deep neural network that needs substantial computing power. The GPUs needed for this consume a considerable amount of energy, making them problematic for small robots such as flying drones. This limits the number of resources they can carry including sensory and computing technologies.

Animal brains process information in a way that is different from neural networks running on a GPU. Biological neurons process information through electrical pulses called spikes which are limited to preserve energy.

The team of researchers were inspired by these features of animal brains, leading scientists and tech companies alike to develop new neuromorphic processors. These new processors allow them to create AI systems that promise to be faster and more efficient.

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