A fully autonomous terrestrial bat-like acoustic robot

Itamar Eliakim, Zahi Cohen, Gabor Kosa, Yossi Yovel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Echolocating bats rely on active sound emission (echolocation) for mapping novel environments and navigating through them. Many theoretical frameworks have been suggested to explain how they do so, but few attempts have been made to build an actual robot that mimics their abilities. Here, we present the ‘Robat’—a fully autonomous bat-like terrestrial robot that relies on echolocation to move through a novel environment while mapping it solely based on sound. Using the echoes reflected from the environment, the Robat delineates the borders of objects it encounters, and classifies them using an artificial neural-network, thus creating a rich map of its environment. Unlike most previous attempts to apply sonar in robotics, we focus on a biological bat-like approach, which relies on a single emitter and two ears, and we apply a biological plausible signal processing approach to extract information about objects’ position and identity.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1006406
JournalPLoS Computational Biology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2018


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