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Embodied linearity of speed control in Drosophila melanogaster


Medici, V; Fry, S N (2012). Embodied linearity of speed control in Drosophila melanogaster. Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 9(77):3260-3267.

Abstract

Fruitflies regulate flight speed by adjusting their body angle. To understand how low-level posture control serves an overall linear visual speed control strategy, we visually induced free-flight acceleration responses in a wind tunnel and measured the body kinematics using high-speed videography. Subsequently, we reverse engineered the transfer function mapping body pitch angle onto flight speed. A linear model is able to reproduce the behavioural data with good accuracy. Our results show that linearity in speed control is realized already at the level of body posture-mediated speed control and is therefore embodied at the level of the complex aerodynamic mechanisms of body and wings. Together with previous results, this study reveals the existence of a linear hierarchical control strategy, which can provide relevant control principles for biomimetic implementations, such as autonomous flying micro air vehicles.

Fruitflies regulate flight speed by adjusting their body angle. To understand how low-level posture control serves an overall linear visual speed control strategy, we visually induced free-flight acceleration responses in a wind tunnel and measured the body kinematics using high-speed videography. Subsequently, we reverse engineered the transfer function mapping body pitch angle onto flight speed. A linear model is able to reproduce the behavioural data with good accuracy. Our results show that linearity in speed control is realized already at the level of body posture-mediated speed control and is therefore embodied at the level of the complex aerodynamic mechanisms of body and wings. Together with previous results, this study reveals the existence of a linear hierarchical control strategy, which can provide relevant control principles for biomimetic implementations, such as autonomous flying micro air vehicles.

Citations

6 citations in Web of Science®
6 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Neuroinformatics
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
Language:English
Date:2012
Deposited On:07 Mar 2013 09:27
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 16:36
Publisher:Royal Society Publishing
Number of Pages:8
ISSN:1742-5662
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1098/​rsif.2012.0527
PubMed ID:22933185

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