Robotic sound source mapping using microphone arrays

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The auditory system constitutes a significant perceptual input for humans and animals. While it is legitimate to say that it ranks behind other senses such as vision or haptics whose understanding has experienced significant advances in the context of computational intelligence and robotics, it is intuitive to assume that service and field robotic systems working closely with humans would benefit from incorporating compelling sound analysis capabilities in the pursuit of accomplishing human-robot collaborative tasks. Within the broad area of robotic audition, one of the most relevant research topics has been identifying and locating multiple sound sources that may be present in the vicinity of the robot at an instant in time. Robotic systems equipped with such ability would gain the faculty to better monitor acoustic events such as a conversation, a ringing alarm or a call for help, for example in a search and rescue scenario, effectively responding to people's needs in a more natural way. Mapping stationary sound sources using a robot equipped with an on-board microphone array is thus the main focus of this thesis.
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