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Welcome to the Adelaide Insect Vision Group

Who we are


What we do.

Publications, ftp sites, links ....

Who to contact.

Associated University Centres

Members of both the Centre for Biomedical Engineering (CBME) and Centre for High Performance Integrated & Technologies and Systems (CHiPTec) are part of the Adelaide Insect Vision Group. This multidisciplinary teamwork overlaps the disciplines of these two centres of excellence.

 Postgraduate Bugs

Peter Celinski (Compact VLSI circuits for smart sensors)

Leonard Hall (Millimetre-wave front-end detection)

Leo Lee (Insect vision chip VLSI design)

Mark McDonnell (Insect neural model stochastic signal processing)

Sreeja Rajesh (Insect vision algorithms)

Andrew Straw (Insect neural physiology)

Eng Mah (Analog circuits for motion detectors)


 Alumni Postgrad Bugs

Thong Nguyen, got his PhD and is now at DSTO, Australia

Andre Yakovleff, got his PhD and is now at DSTO, Australia

Greg Harmer, got his PhD and is now at Sensor Research Development (SRD), Maine, USA

Ali Moini, got his PhD and was at Intelligent pixels, Perth, Australia, but is now at Silverbrook, Sydney.

Ook Kim from Seoul National University. Visitor in 1992-1993. Now at Silicon Image, Sunnyvale.

Gyudong Kim (Chilly) from Seoul National University. Visitor in 1994. Now at Silicon Image, Sunnyvale.

Andrew Blanksby, got his PhD and was working at Lucent, but is now at Gnome Electronicxs P/L, Adelaide.

Richard Beare, got his PhD and is now working at the CMIS group at CSIRO in Sydney 

 Alumni Big Bugs

Kamran Eshraghian is now at Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia

Salim Bouzerdoum is now at Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia

Ali Moini is now at Intelligent Pixels, Perth, Australia

Salim Bouzerdoum is now at Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia

Roger DuBois

Tamath Rainsford

A brief description of what we are doing

Conventional vision systems based on mathematical algorithms tend to become very complicated and their hardware implementation requires no less than powerful main-frame computers to run in real time. Biological models of the insect visual system, however, suggest simpler solutions for constrained tasks, like motion detection. Insects are a model system because they display sophisticated flight control and yet are simple enough that we have been able to deduce a great deal about the underlying neural circuitry used for such tasks, using physiological techniques. The insect vision group at the University of Adelaide uses a truly cross-disciplinary approach to transfer ideas derived from studying insect physiology and behaviour to robust models in software and hardware.

This program is a world-first in that it seeks to combine a number of important areas:

On the VLSI side we have developed novel circuits for early visual processing. A few to be mentioned are: a current mode spatial averaing (CMSA), a multiplicative noise cancellation (MNC) circuit, a wide dynamic range current mode fusing resistive circuit, and a very low (10^-11 Siemens) transconductive element based on the Early effect. In many of these cases we have exploited subthreshold circuits, mainly to use the exponential relationship of the current-voltage and also to reduce the power dissipation. Our new patented approach uses an active impedance transformation to convert a voltage controlled grounded resistor into a floating resistor.

A major focus of our present work is the task of motion detection, for analysis of optic flow and estimation of the speed of moving targets and features. We have designed and implemented a series of analog VLSI chips based on an insect-inspired motion detection algorithm, the template model. Since the first chip (Bugeye I in 1992), we have designed several other chips, namely, Bugeye II, Bugeye III-1, Bugeye III-2, Bugeye IV, MNCSI (the first full implementation of shunting inhibition), and Bugeye V. We have used various processes from 2.0 to 0.8u for fabrication, all from MOSIS (simply because it is the best hassle free fabrication service, though a bit more expensive than some other options). In collaboration with Tanner Research Inc. in the USA, we are now developing new implementations based on an adaptive elaborated Reichardt model for a correlation-based motion detector, using the silicon on sapphire (SOS) process.

Our funding sources: Australian Research Council (ARC), Tanner Research Inc., US Airforce Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), Sir Ross and Sir Keith Smith Fund, University of Adelaide, Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO).

Publications mostly online

Our ftp server with some of our papers on line

Links to other analog VLSI groups

The popular "Vision chips" home page.

CHIPLOGO, a simple program for generating VLSI logos

An old family photo of most of the bugeye people

Contact Information

A/Prof. Derek Abbott

School of Electrical & Electronic Engineering, 
University of Adelaide 
SA 5005, Australia. 
Tel: +61-8-8303 5748 
Fax: +61-8-8303 4360 

A/Prof. David O'Carroll

Department of Physiology & School of Electrical & Electronic Engineering 
University of Adelaide 
SA 5005, Australia. 
Tel: +61-8-8303 4435 
Fax: +61-8-8303 3356 

Comments or suggestions may be sent by email to: