Deep Active Visual Attention for Real-Time Robot Motion Generation: Emergence of Tool-Body Assimilation and Adaptive Tool-Use

Hyogo Hiruma, Hiroshi Ito, Hiroki Mori, Tetsuya Ogata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Sufficiently perceiving the environment is a critical factor in robot motion generation. Although the introduction of deep visual processing models have contributed in extending this ability, existing methods lack in the ability to actively modify what to perceive; humans perform internally during visual cognitive processes. This letter addresses the issue by proposing a novel robot motion generation model, inspired by a human cognitive structure. The model incorporates a state-driven active top-down visual attention module, which acquires attentions that can actively change targets based on task states. We term such attentions as role-based attentions, since the acquired attention directed to targets that shared a coherent role throughout the motion. The model was trained on a robot tool-use task, in which the role-based attentions perceived the robot grippers and tool as identical end-effectors, during object picking and object dragging motions respectively. This is analogous to a biological phenomenon called tool-body assimilation, in which one regards a handled tool as an extension of one's body. The results suggested an improvement of flexibility in model's visual perception, which sustained stable attention and motion even if it was provided with untrained tools or exposed to experimenter's distractions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8550-8557
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Robotics and Automation Letters
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jul 1


  • Neurorobotics
  • bioinspired robot learning
  • imitation learning
  • visual attention mechanism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Control and Optimization
  • Artificial Intelligence


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