Visual Control of Flight Speed and Height in the Honeybee

  • Emily Baird
  • Mandyam V. Srinivasan
  • Shaowu Zhang
  • Richard Lamont
  • Ann Cowling
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4095)


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.


Optic Flow Image Motion Flight Speed Image Velocity Ventral Region 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emily Baird
    • 1
  • Mandyam V. Srinivasan
    • 1
  • Shaowu Zhang
    • 1
  • Richard Lamont
    • 1
  • Ann Cowling
    • 1
  1. 1.ARC Centre for Excellence in Vision Science, Research School of Biological SciencesAustralian National UniversityCanberra

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