Skip to Main Content
Ability to detect collisions is vital for future robots that interact with humans in complex visual environments. Lobula giant movement detectors (LGMD) and directional selective neurons (DSNs) are two types of identified neurons found in the visual pathways of insects such as locusts. Recent modeling studies showed that the LGMD or grouped DSNs could each be tuned for collision recognition. In both biological and artificial vision systems, however, which one should play the collision recognition role and the way the two types of specialized visual neurons could be functioning together are not clear. In this modeling study, we compared the competence of the LGMD and the DSNs, and also investigate the cooperation of the two neural vision systems for collision recognition via artificial evolution. We implemented three types of collision recognition neural subsystems - the LGMD, the DSNs and a hybrid system which combines the LGMD and the DSNs subsystems together, in each individual agent. A switch gene determines which of the three redundant neural subsystems plays the collision recognition role. We found that, in both robotics and driving environments, the LGMD was able to build up its ability for collision recognition quickly and robustly therefore reducing the chance of other types of neural networks to play the same role. The results suggest that the LGMD neural network could be the ideal model to be realized in hardware for collision recognition.