13 April 2012

Visual collision detector

If the question is "how to detect possible collisions and protect yourself about crashes?" LOCUSTS have an answer!

Locusts, which can consume their own weight in food each day, have a large neuron called the locust giant movement detector (LGMD) located behind their eyes. The LGMD releases bursts of energy whenever a locust is on a collision course with another locust or a predatory bird...The [European scientist] team found that the LGMD releases more energy when something is coming directly at the locust.
These spikes of energy, called action potentials, prompt the locusts to take evasive action. The entire process from motion detection to reaction takes about 45 milliseconds—or 45 thousandths of a second.

Locusts, like most insects, can see many more images per second than we do. This means they can react in time to things that are approaching very rapidly and so make their escape before collision,' Rind [Claire Rind, a biologist at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in England] said.

That system can be applied in automotive collision-avoidance system. 

Collision threat detection and avoidance defines a major Research and Development challenge for the automotive industry. Adaptive cruise-control systems incorporating some collision-avoidance features are offered today as pricey options on luxury cars. However, the performance of these systems is not always sufficient, and their cost is too high for wide use. Significant improvements are still needed for these systems to perform satisfactory and to become popular.

Posetd by Berta Pérez Gumà

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