Tutorial on Embodiment

4.1. The Role of Sensory Morphology in Perception


The fact that the properties of the sensory apparatus impact the nature and quality of information that an agent can gather about its interaction with the environment should come as no surprise. However, in artificial systems, little attention is usually paid to this. Instead, effort is invested into processing of the information that is acquired from the sensors. In this section, we want to demonstrate that not only the sensor type - the physical quantity it is sensitive to - but also its morphology - its shape, and placement on the agent - and material properties play a key part. Various remarkable designs of the sensory apparatus in animals demonstrate that evolution is well "aware" of this fact.