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Vol. 10, Special Issue, February 2011, pp.151-159



Performances of Three Miniature Bio-inspired Optic Flow Sensors under Natural Conditions


1Stéphane Viollet, 1Franck Ruffier, 1Thomas Ray, 1Lubin Kerhuel,
1Fabrice Aubépart, 1Nicolas Franceschini, 2Mohsine Ménouni

1Institute of Movement Sciences - Biorobotics - CP938 - 163 av Luminy F-13288 Marseille, France

2Center for Particle Physics (CPPM) - CP902 - 163 av Luminy F-13288 Marseille, France



Received: 29 October 2010   /Accepted: 11 January 2011   /Published: 8 February 2011


Abstract: Considerable attention has been paid during the last decade to vision-based navigation systems based on optic flow (OF) cues. OF-based systems have been implemented on an increasingly large number of sighted autonomous robotic platforms. Nowadays, the OF is measured using conventional cameras, custom-made sensors and even optical mouse chips. However, very few studies have dealt so far with the reliability of these OF sensors in terms of their precision, range and sensitivity to illuminance variations. Three miniature custom-made OF sensors developed at our laboratory, which were composed of photosensors connected to an OF processing unit were tested and compared in this study, focusing on their responses and characteristics in real indoor and outdoor environments in a large range of illuminance. It was concluded that by combining a custom-made aVLSI retina equipped with Adaptive Pixels for Insect-based Sensor (APIS) with a bio-inspired visual processing system, it is possible to obtain highly effective miniature sensors for measuring the OF under real environmental conditions.


Keywords: Bio-inspired optic flow sensor, vision-based navigation system, autonomous robotic platform, OF sensor, VLSI retina, bio-inspired visual processing system


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