COLIN CUTHBERT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY COLIN CUTHBERT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Object avoidance research. Locust (Locusta migratoria) clings to a polystyrene ball as it views a rapidly approaching computer-generated dot (far left). By monitoring how the locust's nerves react to approaching objects, a collision- avoidance system for vehicles could be created. The locust, harmlessly held on a rod with wax, has a large neurone (nerve cell) behind each of its compound eyes called a lobular giant movement detector (LGMD). These neurones can judge whether or not the object will hit the locust. From study- ing their activity, a robot was built with a simi- lar object-avoiding vision system. This work was by Dr Claire Rind of Newcastle University, England.
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