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How Dragonflies Could Help Scientists Build Better Robots

How Dragonflies Could Help Scientists Build Better Robots

August 20, 2013 - New research into the visual system of dragonflies could one day improve target detection and tracking in robotics, according to a pair of Australian researchers.

Steven Wiederman and David O'Carroll from the Center for Neuroscience Research at the University of Adelaide in Australia have been studying insect vision in the hopes of improving artificial vision for robotics and to develop neural prosthetics. They've found that dragonflies have an unusual visual circuit that allows them to see dark moving objects.

Visual processing in most animals, both vertebrates and invertebrates, consists of two channels that process light and dark separately, called ON and OFF channels.

"Most animals will use a combination of ON switches with other ON switches in the brain, or OFF and OFF, depending on the circumstances," according to Wiederman, lead author of the study in the Journal of Neuroscience. The dragonfly, in contrast, uses a combination of both ON and OFF switches to see dark objects. It's possible that other animals use this type of circuit as well, and this is just the first time scientists have discovered it.


Sources and more information:

Researchers: How Dragonflies See may Help Improve Vision Systems for Robots

The novel and complex visual circuit in a dragonfly's brain may help improve robots' vision systems, claim researchers. Dr Steven Wiederman and Associate Professor David O'Carroll from the University's Centre for Neuroscience Research have been studying the underlying processes of insect vision and applying that knowledge in robotics and...

Dragonflies may Help to Improve Vision System in Robots

At the University of Adelaide, researchers have discovered a novel and complex visual circuit in a dragonfly's brain that could one day help to improve vision systems for robots. Dr Steven Wiederman and Associate Professor David O'Carroll from the University's Centre for Neuroscience Research have been studying the underlying processes of insect...

Dragonflies See Things Using On-Off Switches In Their Brains

Scientists Inspired By Dragonflies For Next Gen of Robots

Dragonflies have an ON and OFF switch

Dragonflies can see by switching 'on' and 'off'


( via popsci.com )


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