Binaural Systems in Robotics


Audition is often described by physiologists as the most important sense in humans, due to its essential role in communication and socialization. But quite surprisingly, the interest of this modality for robotics arose only in the 2000s, brought to evidence by cognitive robotics and Human–robot interaction. Since then, numerous contributions have been proposed to the field of robot audition, ranging from sound localization to scene analysis. Binaural approaches were investigated first, then became forsaken due to mixed results. Nevertheless, the last years have witnessed a renewal of interest in binaural active audition, that is, in the opportunities and challenges opened by the coupling of binaural sensing and robot motion. This chapter proposes a comprehensive state of the art of binaural approaches to robot audition. Though the literature on binaural audition and, more generally, on acoustics and signal processing, is a fundamental source of knowledge, the tasks, constraints, and environments of robotics raise original issues. These are reviewed, prior to the most prominent contributions, platforms and projects. Two lines of research in binaural active audition, conducted by the current authors, are then outlined, one of which is tightly connected to psychology of perception.

In: Blauert J. (eds) The Technology of Binaural Listening. Modern Acoustics and Signal Processing. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg