Insects inspiring new technology

Researchers at the University of Lincoln and Newcastle University have developed an autonomous navigation system for mobile robots based on the visual system of locusts. The project aims to build international capacity and cooperation in the field of biologically inspired visual-neural systems. The researchers have created a visually stimulated motor control system, consisting of two movement detector types and a motor generator. Each detector processes images and extracts relevant visual clues, which are then converted into motor commands. “This system was then used in a robot to enable it to explore paths or interact with objects, effectively using visual input only,” says University of Lincoln professor Shigang Yue. He says the research could provide a foundation for the development of highly accurate vehicle-collision sensors, surveillance technology, and video games. “This research demonstrates that modeling biologically plausible artificial visual-neural systems can provide new solutions for computer vision in dynamic environments,” Yue says.

More info: University of Lincoln (02/21/2013) Marie Daniels

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