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NSF CMMi: Mimicking How the Fly Hears: a New Approach Towards Sound Source Localization

Faculty 

Funding Agency 

National Science Foundation

Description 

The research will further the fundamental understanding of the dual optimality characteristic of the super acute ear of the fly Ormia, and to use this understanding to develop novel fly-ear inspired sensor systems with optimal performance and tuning capabilities. The proposed approach is summarized as follows. First, the advantageous use of geometric nonlinearity of the sensor structure whose stiffness will be controlled by thin film piezo-electric actuators will be investigated. This approach will render sensors with unique frequency tuning capabilities for achieving optimal performance over a broad frequency range. Further, a system-on-a-chip optical detection system featuring a differential low coherence interferometric system will be developed, which enables the miniaturization of the entire sensing system. Finally, to best use the proposed sensor, biologically-inspired adaptive sound source localization and navigation will be investigated. Such an investigation is expected to help understand the fly's unique localization-lateralization scheme and bring about a new sensing paradigm for miniature robotic sound source localization.

This research holds a promise to significantly impact applications in health care, safety, and defense.

Mimicking How the Fly Hears: a New Approach Towards Sound Source Localization is a four-year, $314K award.