Tuning phototactic robots with sensorial delays

Maximilian Leyman, Freddie Ogemark, Jan Wehr, Giovanni Volpe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


The presence of a delay between sensing and reacting to a signal can determine the long-term behavior of autonomous agents whose motion is intrinsically noisy. In a previous work [Mijalkov, McDaniel, Wehr, and Volpe, Phys. Rev. X 6, 011008 (2016)10.1103/PhysRevX.6.011008], we have shown that sensorial delay can alter the drift and the position probability distribution of an autonomous agent whose speed depends on the illumination intensity it measures. In this work, we consider an agent whose speed and rotational diffusion both depend on the illumination intensity and are subject to two independent sensorial delays. Using theory, simulations, and experiments with a phototactic robot, we study the dependence of the drift and of the probability distribution of the robot's position on the sensorial delays. In particular, the radial drift may have a positive as well as negative sign, and the position probability density peaks in different regions, depending on the choice of the model's parameters. This not only generalizes previous work but also explores new phenomena resulting from the interaction between the two delay variables.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number052606
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 16 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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