M.Sc Thesis

M.Sc StudentKatsman Igor
SubjectBiologically Motivated Modeling and Simulation of Animals
Vision Activities
DepartmentDepartment of Computer Science
Supervisor PROF. Ehud Rivlin


The study of vision guided abilities in animals has become significant not only for biologists, but also for scientists working in robotics and computer vision who are using unique functional principles learned from the study of animals to develop mathematical models, and then to build an intelligent robot utilizing these principles for better performance in certain tasks. The main goal is to exploit the impressive results achieved by the blind but potent designer Evolution. Among the most awesome capabilities exhibited by various natural systems are the vision-mediated skills of insects. Despite their diminutive brains, many insects accomplish impressive vision guided tasks.

Inspired by abilities of both praying mantis and pigeon to judge distance by use of motion-based visually mediated odometry, we create miniature visual-motor models for depth estimation that act similarly to the head movements of these animals. We develop mathematical models of the praying mantis and pigeon visual behavior and describe our implementations and experimental environment. We investigate structure from motion problems when images are taken from a camera whose focal point is translating according to each of the biological models. This motion in the first case is reminiscent of a praying mantis peering its head left and right, apparently to obtain depth perception, hence the moniker “mantis head camera.” In the second case this motion is reminiscent of a pigeon bobbing its head back and forth, also apparently to obtain depth perception, hence the moniker “pigeon head camera.”  We present the performance of the mantis head camera and pigeon head camera models and provide experimental results and error analysis of the algorithms. We provide the comparison of the definitiveness of the results obtained by both models. The precision of our mathematical model and its implementation is consistent with the experimental facts obtained from various biological experiments.