BeesBook: Live Hive Life!

Get a drink and a bowl of popcorn. As of now you can watch our bees live! We are launching a new website featuring a live preview of our honeybee colony full of individually marked bees. Check back regularly, we will add more live statistics, such as the number of bees, age distribution and the number of brood and honey combs.

Computer Science Colloquium: Barbara Webb speaks on insects and robots

We are happy to announce that our guest Prof. Barbara Webb (University of Edinburgh, UK) will be giving a talk in the frame of our Institute of Computer Science’s Colloquium.

Quick intro: Barbara builds models of biological systems, often focussing on how perception shapes behavior in insects – recently covering more complex capabilities such as learning and navigation. Frequently, these models are implemented as robots – an approach we all know as Biorobotics. Barbara was the first to lay out also the theoretical foundations of this exciting new field.

You are cordially invited to attend this great talk!

Friday, Feb 20th, 14:00 in seminar room #005 (Takustr. 9)

Further information:

PS: There will be free coffee!

Radio Feature on NeuroRobotics

The German radio show “IQ – Wissenschaft und Forschung”(Bayern2) broadcasted a full 30-minutes radio feature on NeuroRobotics. The story features our project NeuroRover and generally makes a case for using robots in neuroscience, or using neuronal computation for controlling robots. Some FU-Berliners involved in this research area (Martin Nawrot, Benjamin Wild and Tim Landgraf) were interviewed and all put in their two cents. Fortunately, Daniela Remus, the author of the piece, talked also to Elizabetta Chicca (Uni Bielefeld)Jörg Conradt (TU Munich)Giacomo Indivieri (ETH Zurich) and Thomas Nowotny ( University of Sussex) who all contribute to this exciting new research field Neuro-X (replace X with Robotics, Engineering, Science, etc.). Go download the mp3 and then check out their websites. Greetings!

Tue, 28.10.2014: “Drosophila courtship song: modeling behavioral pattern in terms of neural and muscle dynamics”

We are happy to invite everybody to:

Birgit Brüggemeier (Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, University of Oxford):

“Drosophila courtship song: modeling behavioral  pattern in terms of neural and muscle dynamics”

Location: Arnimallee 6, seminar room 031
Time: Tuesday, 28.10.2014, 14:00
Specials: Coffee and Cookies!

Males of the species Drosophila melanogaster – the common fruit fly – court their females. During courtship the male extends and vibrates his wing and thereby produces courtship song, which consists of two qualitatively different modes: sine and pulse song. During song, males repeatedly switch between sine and pulse. Recent studies suggest that the male switches not randomly, but chooses whether to sing sine or pulse depending on sensory input – this is despite courtship song being innate and hard-wired. Besides sensory inputs, muscle contraction is known to determine song mode and song features. I have designed simple neuromuscular models of courtship song, that allow one to study (1) the effect of neuronal frequency on song and (2) the effect of muscle contraction dynamics on song, and (3) to simulate natural looking courtship song. I have started to validate my models and simulations. My simulations excite male wild-type flies, when played back to them. Song playback is a well established paradigm to study hearing in flies and the excitatory potential of song. Further my simulations show and reproduce the link between excitation and song choice their design was based on.  I expect simulated song from my models to match song parameters of real song. For matching real and simulated song I apply Approximate-Bayesian-Computation (ABC) with Sequential-Monte-Carlo (SMC) sampling to my models. 

Read full abstract

Thu, 14.8.2014: “Active Brownian Particles – From Individual to Collective Stochastic Dynamics”

We are happy to invite everybody to:

Pawel Romanczuk (MPI für Physik komplexer Systeme):

“Active Brownian Particles – From Individual to Collective Stochastic Dynamics”

Abstract: We discuss the description of biological agents in terms of coupled stochastic differential equations. This approach offers on the one hand a very flexible framwork for modeling individual, as well as large groups of interacting agents, and on the other hand allows us to perform analytical calculations on the long time/large scale behavior of such systems, which provide important insights into their general properties. Here, we will focus on particular application of these kind of models to collective motion in locusts and corresponding interaction models based on so-called “escape-pursuit” interaction behaviors.

Location: Seminar Room 31 (Arnimallee 7)
Time: 11:15