Visual Behavior Based Bio-Inspired Polarization Techniques in Computer Vision and Robotics

Visual Behavior Based Bio-Inspired Polarization Techniques in Computer Vision and Robotics

Abd El Rahman Shabayek (Université de Bourgogne, France), Olivier Morel (Université de Bourgogne, France) and David Fofi (Université de Bourgogne, France)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2539-6.ch011
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For long time, it was thought that the sensing of polarization by animals is invariably related to their behavior, such as navigation and orientation. Recently, it was found that polarization can be part of a high-level visual perception, permitting a wide area of vision applications. Polarization vision can be used for most tasks of color vision including object recognition, contrast enhancement, camouflage breaking, and signal detection and discrimination. The polarization based visual behavior found in the animal kingdom is briefly covered. Then, the authors go in depth with the bio-inspired applications based on polarization in computer vision and robotics. The aim is to have a comprehensive survey highlighting the key principles of polarization based techniques and how they are biologically inspired.
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Polarization Based Visual Behavior In The Animal Kingdom

Orientation and Navigation

Sky polarization patterns are used by many insects for navigation. Honeybees use celestial polarization to move between the hive and foraging locations (Cronin et al., 2003; Rossel,1989; Wehner, 2001). Cataglyphis ants (Cronin et al., 2003) and nocturnal ball-rolling dung beetle (Dacke, Byrne, Baird, Scholtz, & Warrant, 2011) use the sun and moon, respectively, celestial polarization for similar tasks. See Figure 1.

Figure 1.

Polarization in the animal kingdom


Salmon fishes (Figure 1) may have a similar ability (Hawryshyn, 1992), which allows them to orient in underwater light fields (Novales & Hawryshyn, 1997). Light reflection from water surfaces results in horizontally polarized light which is utilized by water beetles and other insects for orientation. (Schwind, 1983; Schwind, 1984; Schwind, 1991).

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