Sensorimotor Convergence in Visual Navigation and Flight Control Systems

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J. Sean Humbert, Richard M. Murray, Michael H. Dickinson
Submitted, 2005 IFAC World Congress

Insects exhibit unparalleled and incredibly robust flight dynamics in the face of uncertainties. A fundamental principle contributing to this amazing behavior is rapid processing and convergence of visual sensory information to flight motor commands via spatial wide-field integration. Within the control-theoretic framework presented here, a model for wide-field integration of retinal image flow is developed which explains how various image flow kernels correspond to feedback terms that stabilize the different modes of planar fiight. It is also demonstrated that the proposed output feedback methodology is su±cient to explain experimentally observed navigational heuristics as the centering and forward speed regulation responses exhibited by honeybees.