Crabs Could Influence the Next Robot Designs

A research team led by Dr Jan Hemmi of the Visual Sciences Group has achieved a first time achievement by working out how fiddler crabs perceive their world and respond to it. Their research, which is carried out in the Research School of Biology at The Vision Centre and Australian National University, is also expected to assist in the design of better machine vision for robots.  

Fiddler crabs are relatively simple creatures that must process visual signals and respond rapidly.  (As all organisms must do.)  Their eyes are the secret to their ability to do this.  In a fiddler crab, the eyes do not move.  Instead, they have have 9,000 eye facets and see in all directions including above.  However, the eyes only collect the information that is absolutely needed for the crab to survive in its environment.  So, some eye facets see detail, while others see a general view of the landscape .  Crabs also see in ultraviolet as well as other colors of light.

The researchers built a crab treadmill to test out how a crab sees and responds to what it sees.  The complete research in published in a paper, The topography of vision in the fiddler crab Uca vomeris.  Which was published in The Journal of Experimental Biology, 2009; 212: pp 3522-3532.   You can click on the links below to see the rest of the articles on this post.  Also, see the media release, Crabs in a Colourful and Threatening World for more on this topic.

Image: The Vision Centre and ScienceAlert

Crabs could influence robot design
ABC Online
"The lesson really is that you need to work out what information your robot needs to do whatever job it is meant to do," he said.
Scientists map crabs' vision ScienceAlert
all 2 news articles »

Crabs could influence robot design – ABC Online
(author unknown)
Mon, 26 Oct 2009 07:17:25 GMT

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