Home > Papers from 2014 > Insect inspired navigation sensors

Insect inspired navigation sensors

The foragers of ant species that do not hunt, have visual systems that are almost exclusively at the service of navigation. Thus, from a biomimetic perspective, we can look at their visual systems for inspiration about how to replicate efficient navigation in natural environments. One way in which ant’s visual systems are tuned to the natural world is the sensitivities of their photoreceptors. Ants have peak sensitivitues in the UV (~350nm) and green (~510nm) and this tuning has been suggested by Ralf Möller to be useful for the extraction of skyline profiles. Here, Stone et al. look at a UV method of sky segmentation and assess the efficacy of the resultant images for localisation (using the seqSLAM algorithm) and orientation (using visual compass methods). They find that the UV method is much more robust for sky segmentation then previous techniques using visible wavelengths and that this leads to robust outdoor localisation and orientation across a range of weather conditions.

Stone, T., Mangan, M., Ardin, P., & Webb, B. (2014) Sky segmentation with ultraviolet images can be used for navigation. Proceedings of the “Robotics: Science and Systems” Conference, 2014.

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