Real-time Mapping on a Neuromorphic Processor

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Mapping is a critical component for developing a simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) system in mobile robots. We draw from the brain's dedicated network that solves the spatial navigation problem by learning a cognitive map of the surrounding environment using networks of specialized neurons, such as place cells, grid cells, head direction cells, and border cells. We further integrated our neuro-inspired network into a neuromorphic processor, namely Intel's Loihi chip. Here, we proposed an SNN that used Winner-Take-ALL (WTA) structure and heterosynaptic competitive learning for place field generation and dendritic trees for reference frame transformation. The network learned distributed sub-maps on place cells, that, when combined, they encode accurately a unified map of the environment. By using an efficient interaction framework between the Robot Operating System (ROS) and Loihi, we showcase how our SNN may run in real-time interacting with a mobile robot equipped with a 360-degree LiDAR sensor. These results pave the way for an efficient neuromorphic SLAM solution on Loihi for robots operating in unknown environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2020 Annual Neuro-Inspired Computational Elements Workshop, NICE 2020
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
ISBN (Electronic)9781450361231
StatePublished - Mar 17 2020
Externally publishedYes
Event2020 Annual Neuro-Inspired Computational Elements Workshop, NICE 2020 - Heidelberg, Germany
Duration: Mar 17 2020Mar 20 2020

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series


Conference2020 Annual Neuro-Inspired Computational Elements Workshop, NICE 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Networks and Communications


  • Mapping
  • Neuromorphic Processor
  • Robot Operating System
  • Robotics
  • Spiking Neural Network


Dive into the research topics of 'Real-time Mapping on a Neuromorphic Processor'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this