Open Access

A Novel Biologically Inspired Attention Mechanism for a Social Robot

  • Antonio Jesús Palomino1,
  • Rebeca Marfil1,
  • Juan Pedro Bandera1 and
  • Antonio Bandera1Email author
EURASIP Journal on Advances in Signal Processing20102011:841078

Received: 16 June 2010

Accepted: 19 November 2010

Published: 30 November 2010


In biological vision systems, the attention mechanism is responsible for selecting the relevant information from the sensed field of view. In robotics, this ability is specially useful because of the restrictions in computational resources which are necessary to simultaneously perform different tasks. An emerging area in robotics is developing social robots which are capable to navigate and to interact with humans and with their environment by perceiving the real world in a similar way that people do. In this proposal, we focus on the development of an object-based attention mechanism for a social robot. It consists of three main modules. The first one (preattentive stage) implements a concept of saliency based on "proto-objects." In the second stage (semiattentive), significant items according to the tasks to accomplish are identified and tracked. Finally, the attentive stage fixes the field of attention to the most salient object depending on the current task.

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Authors’ Affiliations

Grupo ISIS, Departamento de Tecnología Electrónica, E.T.S.I. Telecomunicación, Universidad de Málaga


© Antonio Jesús Palomino et al. 2011

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.