Locust eye robot

Locust, a team of European scientists, is studying locusts navigational skills to develop a crash-avoidance technology.

The insect has a large neuron, called the “lobula giant movement detector”, that releases bursts of energy whenever a locust is on a collision course with another locust or a predatory bird.


The entire process from motion detection to reaction takes about 25 milliseconds. And because the insects only detect things that are on a collision course with them, they are ignorant of all other movements.

The European team has built a locust-inspired, collision-avoiding robot and is currently developing crash-avoidance circuitry for a model car.

The system would detect approaching danger and sound an alarm so that the driver could take evasive action. An operative prototype should be ready this Fall. The Volvo XC90 will be the first to test the technology.

In the future the system may also deploy external airbags on the front bumpers to protect pedestrians.

Via Xataca El Navegante.

Related: Locusts’ navigational skills.