Status of recent developments in collision avoidance using motion detectors based on insect vision

Derek Abbott, Alireza Moini, Andre Yakovleff, X. Thong Nguyen, R. Beare, W. Kim, Abdesselam Bouzerdoum, Robert E. Bogner, Kamran Eshraghian

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Insects tend to detect motion rather than images and this together with inherent parallelism in their visual architecture, leads to an efficient and compact means of collision avoidance. A VLSI implementation of a smart microsensor that mimics the early visual processing stage in insects has been developed. The system employs the 'smart sensor' paradigm in that the detectors and processing circuitry are integrated on one chip. The IC is ideal for motion detectors, particularly collision avoidance tasks, as it essentially detects the speed, bearing and time-to-impact of a moving object. The Horridge model for insect vision has been directly mapped into VLSI and therefore the IC truly exploits the beauty of nature in that the insect eye is so compact with parallel processing, enabling compact motion detection without the computational overhead of intensive imaging, full image extraction and interpretation. This world-first has exciting applications in areas such as anti- collision for automobiles and autonomous robots.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTransportation Sensors and Controls: Collision Avoidance, Traffic Management, and ITS
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1997
Externally publishedYes
EventTransportation Sensors and Controls: Collision Avoidance, Traffic Management, and ITS - Boston, MA, United States of America
Duration: 18 Nov 199618 Nov 1996

Publication series

NameSPIE - the International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


ConferenceTransportation Sensors and Controls: Collision Avoidance, Traffic Management, and ITS
Country/TerritoryUnited States of America
CityBoston, MA


  • Biologically inspired engineering
  • Collision avoidance
  • Insect vision
  • Photodetectors
  • Smart sensors
  • VLSI

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