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 spacecraft from the film Star Wars. By monitoring how the locust's nerves react to approaching objects, a collision- avoidance system for vehicles could be created. The locust, held on a rod with wax, has a neurone (nerve cell) behind each of its compound eyes called a lobular giant movement detector (LGMD). These neurones can judge if the spaceship will hit the locust or not. From studying their activity, a robot was built with a similar object-avoiding vision system. This work was done by Dr Claire Rind of the University of Newcastle, England.
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