The paper „The HAPPY HEDGEHOG Project“ by Prof. Dr. Oliver Bendel, Emanuel Graf and Kevin Bollier was accepted at the AAAI Spring Symposia 2021. The researchers will present it at the sub-conference „Machine Learning for Mobile Robot Navigation in the Wild“ at the end of March. The project was conducted at the School of Business FHNW between June 2019 and January 2020. Emanuel Graf, Kevin Bollier, Michel Beugger and Vay Lien Chang developed a prototype of a mowing robot in the context of machine ethics and social robotics, which stops its work as soon as it detects a hedgehog. HHH has a thermal imaging camera. When it encounters a warm object, it uses image recognition to investigate it further. At night, a lamp mounted on top helps. After training with hundreds of photos, HHH can quite accurately identify a hedgehog. With this artifact, the team provides a solution to a problem that frequently occurs in practice. Commercial robotic mowers repeatedly kill young hedgehogs in the dark. HAPPY HEDGEHOG could help to save them. The video on in the corresponding section of this website shows it without disguise. The robot is in the tradition of LADYBIRD.
Fig.: A happy hedgehog