CILIA - Customized Intelligent Life-inspired Arrays

Project funded by the Future and Emergent Technologies arm of the IST Programme in the 6th Framework Programme

6th Framework Programme


The CILIA project will explore the use of arrays of hairs in three sensing scenarios: in air, in water, and in a fluid-filled compartment coupled to air through impedance matching devices and beam-forming baffles. For each scenario, adaptations across phylogeny and ontogeny will be studied.

The twofold principal objective of the CILIA project is to identify the common principles underlying the widespread use in nature of arrays of mechanical sensory cells for the extraction of meaning under adverse conditions and to make those principles available for design of engineered systems.

It is generally believed that organisms and their environments form tightly coupled interacting systems in which all components -environmental characteristics and dynamics, sensory and physical morphology, peripheral and central neural processing and behavioural patterns- play a significant role in the extraction of meaning from experience. Furthermore, knowledge of the transformations and processes performed by peripheral systems is essential for true understanding of the organisation and operation of central neuronal processing, since peripheral systems provide the input to central ones. The knowledge gained will clarify the tasks to be addressed by central system models and will allow for the design of more powerful integrated models of central and peripheral processing.