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A Robust Analog VLSI Reichardt Motion Sensor


Silicon imagers with integrated motion-detection circuitry have been developed and tested for the past 15 years. Many previous circuits estimate motion by identifying and tracking spatial or temporal features. These approaches are prone to failure at low SNR conditions, where feature detection becomes unreliable. An alternate approach to motion detection is an intensity-based spatiotemporal correlation algorithm, such as the one proposed by Hassenstein and Reichardt in 1956 to explain aspects of insect vision. We implemented a Reichardt motion sensor with integrated photodetectors in a standard CMOS process. Our circuit operates at sub-microwatt power levels, the lowest reported for any motion sensor. We measure the effects of device mismatch on these parallel, analog circuits to show they are suitable for constructing 2-D VLSI arrays. Traditional correlation-based sensors suffer from strong contrast dependence. We introduce a circuit architecture that lessens this dependence. We also demonstrate robust performance of our sensor to complex stimuli in the presence of spatial and temporal noise.

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Harrison, R.R., Koch, C. A Robust Analog VLSI Reichardt Motion Sensor. Analog Integrated Circuits and Signal Processing 24, 213–229 (2000).

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  • Reichardt motion detector
  • analog VLSI
  • insect vision
  • motion sensor
  • robust sensing
  • biological model