Building exploration with leeches Hirudo verbana

Adamatzky, A. and Sirakoulis, G. C. (2015) Building exploration with leeches Hirudo verbana. BioSystems, 134. pp. 48-55. ISSN 0303-2647 Available from:

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Safe evacuation of people from building and outdoor environments, and search and rescue operations, always will remain actual in course of all socio-technological developments. Modern facilities offer a range of automated systems to guide residents towards emergency exists. The systems are assumed to be infallible. But what if they fail? How occupants not familiar with a building layout will be looking for exits in case of very limited visibility where tactile sensing is the only way to assess the environment? Analogous models of human behaviour, and socio-dynamics in general, are provided to be fruitful ways to explore alternative, or would-be scenarios. Crowd, or a single person, dynamics could be imitated using particle systems, reaction–diffusion chemical medium, electro-magnetic fields, or social insects. Each type of analogous model offer unique insights on behavioural patterns of natural systems in constrained geometries. In this particular paper we have chosen leeches to analyse patterns of exploration. Reasons are two-fold. First, when deprived from other stimuli leeches change their behavioural modes in an automated regime in response to mechanical stimulation. Therefore leeches can give us invaluable information on how human beings might behave under stress and limited visibility. Second, leeches are ideal blueprints of future soft-bodied rescue robots. Leeches have modular nervous circuitry with a rich behavioral spectrum. Leeches are multi-functional, fault-tolerant with autonomous inter-segment coordination and adaptive decision-making. We aim to answer the question: how efficiently a real building can be explored and whether there any dependencies on the pathways of exploration and geometrical complexity of the building. In our case studies we use templates made on the floor plan of real building.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:leeches, evacuation, bionics, bio-inspired algorithms, living technologies
Faculty/Department:Faculty of Environment and Technology > Department of Computer Science and Creative Technologies
ID Code:27004
Deposited By: Professor A. Adamatzky
Deposited On:25 Sep 2015 08:41
Last Modified:13 Dec 2016 20:39

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