The Relationship Between Visual Sensor Equipment in Flying Insects and their Flight Performance – a ‘Neurobio-Engineering’ Approach

Sponsor: AFOSR (Willard Larkin)
Collaborators: Holger Krapp (Imperial College)

Flight control in contemporary aircraft and flying insects is governed by fundamentally different design principles.

Although the most maneuverable aircraft and flying insects have in common that they are both aerodynamically unstable and rely on powerful sensory feedback, the ways in which feedback control structures are implemented deviate considerably.

In this project we employ electrophysiological methods (Krapp) and flight dynamics and control theory (Humbert) to investigate strategies for biologically-inspired visual sensing and feedback to improve signal to noise ratio and dynamic range, with applications in the control of autonomous micro air vehicles (MAVs).

  • Gremillion G, Krapp HG and Humbert JS, “Bio-Inspired Modeling and Implementation of the Ocelli Visual System of Flying Insects,” Biological Cybernetics, Vol. 108, No. 6, pp. 735-746, 2014, DOI: 10.1007/s00422-014-0610-x.
  • Gremillion G, Galfond M, Krapp HG and Humbert JS, “Biomimetic Sensing and Modeling of the Ocelli Visual System of Flying Insects,” IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Villamoura, Potrugal, Oct 2012.
  • Humbert JS and Hyslop AM, “Bio-Inspired Visuomotor Convergence,” IEEE Transactions on Robotics, Vol. 26, No. 1, pp. 121-130, 2010, DOI: 10.1109/TRO.2009.2033330.
  • Humbert JS, Hyslop AM, “HS Tangential Cell Analogues and Implications for Efficient Visuomotor Control,” in Frontiers in Sensing – Biology and Engineering, Springer Verlag, 2011, ISBN: 978-3-211-99748-2.
  • Humbert JS and Hyslop AM, “Control-Theoretic Interpretations of Tangential Cell Sensitivity Patterns,” 2nd International Conference on Invertebrate Vision, Sweden, September 2008.
  • Humbert JS and Hyslop AM, “Interpretations of HS Tangential Cell Sensitivity Patterns,” Sensors and Sensing in Biology and Engineering, Calabria, Italy, October 2008.
  • Humbert JS, “Bio-Inspired Visuomotor Convergence,” International Symposium on Flying Insects and Robotics, Ascona, Switzerland, 2007.
  • Humbert JS and Frye MA, “Extracting Behaviorally Relevant Retinal Image Motion Cues via Wide-Field Integration,” American Control Conference, pp. 2724-2729, Minneapolis, MN, 2006. DOI: 10.1109/ACC.2006.1656635.
  • Humbert JS, Murray RM, and Dickinson MH, “A Control-Oriented Analysis of Bio-Inspired Visuomotor Convergence,” 44th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control, pp. 245-250, Seville, Spain, 2005.
  • Reiser MB, Humbert JS, Dunlop MJ, Del Vecchio D, Murray RM, and Dickinson MH, “Vision as a Compensatory Mechanism for Disturbance Rejection in Upwind Flight,” American Control Conference, pp. 311-316, Boston, MA, 2004. Winner of best student paper competition.

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