Elementary Motion Detection with Contrast Adaptation
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
Insects display remarkable capabilities for guidance and directed flight based on their visual sense. If duplicated in autonomous flying weapons, these capabilities could greatly enhance their effectiveness. We propose a collaborative effort between aninsect neurobiologist and VLSI technologists to develop motion processing theory and technology based on insect vision. This effort will apply new findings from insect neurobiology to the well-established correlational model of the elementary motiondetector (EMD), which appears to be the basis for all higher-level visual motion processing in the insect visual system. These new findings suggest that adaptation of contrast sensitivity, mediated by motion, plays a crucial role in extending the dynamicrange of motion estimation and conferring response invariance with respect to non-motion-related parameters. Thus, we propose an effort to formalize this theory and further develop an implementation approach for an EMD in analog VLSI to include thecapability for contrast adaptation.Estimation of egomotion and tracking of small moving targets are two capabilities of insect visual motion processing that would be directly useful for autonomous flying vehicles and weapons. Expected applications are inguidance for near-ground flight and in seeker technology.
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