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First published July 1 2016

Visual Navigation in Simulated Pigeons

Neil Vaughan

Abstract (Excerpt)

This research presents computational models to represent visual navigation mechanisms which guide pigeons (Columba Livia) during flight. A 3D graphics computer simulator was developed to model autonomous flight in virtual pigeons. The aim was to investigate the role of (i) visual landmarks (ii) flocking with other pigeons and (iii) image familiarity in pigeon navigation. A recursive processing algorithm enabled landmarks and other pigeons to be located, identified and counted. Image processing could form a feasible mechanism for autonomous visual navigation by identification of familiar route headings. This could be used in autonomous flying drones or flight simulators.