On robots and flies: modeling the visual orientation behavior of flies

Susanne A. Huber, Matthias O. Franz, Heinrich H. Bülthoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Although artificial and biological systems face similar sensorimotor control problems, until today only a few attempts have been made to implement specific biological control structures on robots. Nevertheless, the process of designing the sensorimotor control of a robot can contribute to our understanding of these mechanisms and can provide the basis of a critical evaluation of existing biological models. Flies have developed a specialized visuomotor control for tasks such as course stabilization, fixation and approach towards stationary objects, tracking of moving objects and landing, which are based on the analysis of visual motion information. Theoretical and experimental results suggest that in flies the visuomotor control for course stabilization as well as fixation and approach towards stationary objects may be implemented at least partially by one common sensory circuit. We present agents with a visuomotor controller that regulates the two behaviors of course stabilization and object fixation. To test this controller under real world conditions, we implemented it on a miniature robot. We have been able to show that in addition to course stabilization and object fixation, the robot also approaches stationary objects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-242
Number of pages16
JournalRobotics and Autonomous Systems
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1999 Dec 31

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Software
  • General Mathematics
  • Computer Science Applications


Dive into the research topics of 'On robots and flies: modeling the visual orientation behavior of flies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this