This paper proposes a novel robot/insect mixed society setup which enhances the possibilities for insect behavioral research and can be used as a powerful tool for interdisciplinary studies on insect behavior. Micro-robots are equipped with decoys so as to allow a controlled dynamic interaction with crickets, Gryllus bimaculatus. A camera records the interaction and the video is later processed for the automatic tracking of each encounter between cricket and robot. A novelty of our method lies in using the robots as tools for the controlled evoking of specific insect behaviors rather than trying to build an insect-like robot. The possibility for performing controlled repeatable movements allows the stimulation of certain insect behaviors that are usually difficult to trigger using insects alone, allowing consistent behavioral research. A set of experiments were performed in order to validate the proposed setup. We also demonstrate the use of our setup for stimulating agonistic behavior during an electromyography recording session.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.