Visual Homing Using an Associative Memory

Randal C. Nelson
Department of Computer Science
University of Rochester
Rochester, NY 14627

Abstract: Homing is the process by which an autonomous system guides itself to a particular location on the basis of sensory input. In this paper, a method of visual homing using an associative memory based on a simple pattern classifier is described. Homing is accomplished without the use of an explicit world model by utilizing direct associations between learned visual patterns and system motor commands. The method is analyzed in terms of a pattern space and conditions obtained that allow the system performance to be predicted on the basis of statistical measurements on the environment. Results of experiments utilizing the method to guide a robot-mounted camera in a three-dimensional environment are presented.