The Robotics Institute
RI | Seminar | May 2

Robotics Institute Seminar, May 2
Time and Place | Seminar Abstract | Speaker Biography | Speaker Appointments

Biomimetic visual navigation

Charles M. Higgins
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering /
Arizona Research Laboratories, Division of Neurobiology
The University of Arizona

Time and Place

1305 Newell-Simon Hall
Refreshments 3:15 pm
Talk 3:30 pm


Employing neurobiological computational architectures and data representations which predate modern computing equipment by as much as 400 million years, biological organisms perform feats of visually-guided navigation that continue to surpass the best attempts of mankind. Using insects as a model, we have studied biological visually-guided navigation in an attempt to engineer artificial systems with similar principles. I will discuss our efforts towards a biomimetic visually-guided airborne vehicle, particularly in the areas of self-motion estimation, obstacle/terrain avoidance, and small target tracking.

Speaker Biography

Charles M. Higgins received the Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology in 1993. He worked in the Radar Systems Group at MIT Lincoln Laboratory until 1996, when he returned to Caltech as a postdoctoral research fellow in the Division of Biology studying engineering applications of visual neuroscience. In 1999, he joined the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Arizona as Assistant Professor, where he holds a joint appointment in the Division of Neurobiology. His research focuses on investigation and engineering application of neurobiological computational and control architectures and data representations, particularly in the area of insect visual motion processing and associated motor control. Projects in this area range from computational modeling to the construction of biologically-inspired analog/digital custom VLSI vision chips and robotic systems.

Speaker Appointments

For appointments, please contact Sanjiv Singh (

The Robotics Institute is part of the School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University.