Active Vision for Visual Guidance

Vision is realized through action, thus the term “active vision” merely emphasizes the importance of perception-action coupling. In fact, most visual animals perform saccadic eye movements, smooth target tracking, and involuntary visual fixation. These visual behaviors have functional implications for visual acuity, motion vision, visual guidance and depth estimation. From the bioengineering standpoint, we are interested in the functions and implementation of visual behaviors. Flying insects perform a full repertoire of visual behaviors from target tracking, obstacle negotiation to navigation. We have developed an insect-scale motion capture protocol which can track the 3D kinematics of a dragonfly’s head, body, and wings. This approach allows us to reconstruct the visual gaze, body states, and wing dynamics from different freely behaving insects. Understanding the heuristics and the neural implementation underlying these visual behaviors can help us develop bio-inspired machine vision systems which incorporate appropriate motor gestures.

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