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Landing strategies in honeybees, and possible applications to autonomous airborne vehicles
Srinivasan, M.V.; Zhang, S.; Chahl, J.S. (2001). Landing strategies in honeybees, and possible applications to autonomous airborne vehicles. Biol. Bull. 200: 216-221
In: Biological Bulletin. Marine Biological Laboratory: Lancaster, Pa. etc.. ISSN 0006-3185, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Srinivasan, M.V.
  • Zhang, S.
  • Chahl, J.S.

Abstract
    Insects, being perhaps more reliant on image motion cues than mammals or higher vertebrates, are proving to be an excellent organism in which to investigate how information on optic flow is exploited to guide locomotion and navigation. This paper describes one example, illustrating how bees perform grazing landings on a flat surface. A smooth landing is achieved by a surprisingly simple and elegant strategy: image velocity is held constant as the surface is approached, thus automatically ensuring that flight speed is close to zero at touchdown. No explicit knowledge of flight speed or height above the ground is necessary. The feasibility of this landing strategy is tested by implementation in a robotic gantry, and its applicability to autonomous airborne vehicles is discussed.

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