Visual Control of Flight Speed and Height in the Honeybee
The properties of visually guided flight speed and height control were investigated by training honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) to fly through a tunnel in which the visual cues in the lateral and ventral visual fields could be varied by changing the patterns on the walls and floor of the tunnel. The results show that honeybees regulate their flight speed by keeping the velocity of the image of the environment in their eye constant. The results also show that honeybees use visual information from the ground to control their height above the ground. The findings of this study reveal that the mechanisms of flight speed and height control in the honeybee are perfectly adapted for extracting information from a complex visual environment using simple sensors and computations. Consequently, the techniques of visual guidance that are reported here suggest insect-inspired strategies for the control of aircraft flight.
KeywordsOptic Flow Image Motion Flight Speed Image Velocity Ventral Region
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 1.Gibson, J.J.: The Perception of the Visual World. Houghton Mifflin, Boston (1950)Google Scholar
- 2.Srinivasan, M., Zhang, S., Lehrer, M., Collett, T.: Honeybee navigation en route to the goal: visual flight control and odometry. J. Exp. Biol. 199, 237–244 (1996)Google Scholar
- 13.Reichardt, W.: Movement perception in insects. In: Reichardt, W. (ed.) Processing of Optical Data by Organisms and Machines, pp. 465–493. Academic Press, New York (1969)Google Scholar
- 14.Hausen, K.: Decoding of retinal image flow in insects. Rev. Oculomot. Res. 5, 203–235 (1993)Google Scholar
- 16.Riley, J.R., Osborne, J.L.: Flight trajectories of foraging insects: observations using harmonic radar. In: Reynolds, D.R., Thomas, C., Wolwod, I.H. (eds.) Insect movement: mechanisms and consequences, Proceedings of the Royal Entomological Society’s 20th Symposium, pp. 129–157. CABI Publishing (2001)Google Scholar
- 18.Peterson, A.I.: Launched to return, Unmanned Vehicles, 13 (2003)Google Scholar
- 19.Shakerina, O., Ma, Y., Koo, T.J., Hespanha, J., Shastry, S.S.: Vision guided landing of an unmanned air vehicle. In: Proceedings of the 38th Conference on Decision and Control, Phoenix, Arizona, pp. 4143–4148 (1998)Google Scholar