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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Fly-like visuomotor responses of a robot using aVLSI motion-sensitive chips.

We explore the use of continuous-time analog very-large-scale-integrated (aVLSI) neuromorphic visual preprocessors together with a robotic platform in generating bio-inspired behaviors. Both the aVLSI motion sensors and the robot behaviors described in this work are inspired by the motion computation in the fly visual system and two different fly behaviors. In most robotic systems, the visual information comes from serially scanned imagers. This restricts the form of computation of the visual image and slows down the input rate to the controller system of the robot, hence increasing the reaction time of the robot. These aVLSI neuromorphic sensors reduce the computational load and power consumption of the robot, thus making it possible to explore continuous-time visuomotor control systems that react in real-time to the environment. The motion sensor provides two outputs: one for the preferred direction and the other for the null direction. These motion outputs are created from the aggregation of six elementary motion detectors that implement a variant of Reichardt's correlation algorithm. The four analog continuous-time outputs from the motion chips go to the control system on the robot which generates a mixture of two behaviors--course stabilization and fixation--from the outputs of these sensors. Since there are only four outputs, the amount of information transmitted to the controller is reduced (as compared to using a CCD sensor), and the reaction time of the robot is greatly decreased. In this work, the robot samples the motion sensors every 3.3 ms during the behavioral experiments.[1]


  1. Fly-like visuomotor responses of a robot using aVLSI motion-sensitive chips. Liu, S.C., Usseglio-Viretta, A. Biological cybernetics. (2001) [Pubmed]
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