Attentional Selection for Action in Mobile Robots

  • Bachiller P
  • Bustos P
  • Manso L
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During the last few years attention has become an important issue in machine vision. Studies of attentional mechanisms in biological vision have inspired many computational models (Tsotsos et al., 1995; Itti {&} Koch, 2000; Frintrop et al., 2005; Torralba et al., 2006; Navalpakkan {&} Itti, 2006). Most of them follow the assumption of limited capacity associated to the role of attention from psychological proposals (Broadbent, 1958; Laberge, 1995). These theories hypothesize that the visual system has limited processing capacity and that attention acts as a filter selecting the information that should be processed. This assumption has been criticized by many authors who affirm that the human perceptual system processing capacity is enormous (Neumann et al., 1986; Allport, 1987). From this point of view, a stage selecting the information to be processed is not needed. Instead, they claim the role of attention from the perspective of selection for action (Allport, 1987). According to this new conception, the function of attention is to avoid behavioural disorganization by selecting the appropriate information to drive task execution. Such a notion of attention is very interesting in robotics, where the aim is to build autonomous robots that interact with complex environments, keeping multiple behavioural objectives. Attentional selection for action can guide robot behaviours by focusing on relevant visual targets while avoiding distracting elements. Moreover, it can be conceived as a coordination mechanism, since stimuli selection allows serializing the actions of, potentially, multiple active behaviours.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Action
  • Attentional
  • Automation
  • Mobile Robots
  • selection

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  • Pilar Bachiller

  • Pablo Bustos

  • Luis J Manso

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