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  • Which fire based on spacial and temporal arrangement of incoming impulses on a cell membrane... Not exactly digital, is it? The membrane chemistry also has fading or exhaustion effects which could be interpreted as integral attenuation and the propagation speed of firing is slow enough to make the spatial layout of a circuit interesting even at low fequencies.
  • nature always does better with analog circuits.

    What's your basis for calling wetware analog?  The nervous system is a digital network, everything breaks down to discrete digital firings of nerve cells.

  • @Scott: i like that version better as well.

    This is sure to start some sort of IMU-owl-crossover-fetish stream of viral videos..

    @Adrian: I totally believe that vision is key here. There's a whole thing on pilots learning not to trust their "inner" inertial sensors in dense fog/night flight, isn't there? Because IMU's on things not attached to the ground just don't give any absolute attitude info* .. (* .. yes, indirectly, drag, etc etc)

  • I always wonder how much this has to do with the birds inner ear or if it’s more like a steadicam? Using tendons and muscles responses instead of complex though would be far more efficient in my view.  

  • Whatever we do, nature will always do it better :)

  • Most of that head stabilisation is driven visually rather than through inertial sensors. That isn't to say inertial stuff isn't important - I know of at least one peregrine that has some sort of offset in the system so that when she is hooded and sitting still (no visual inputs, steady inertial inputs) her head constantly slowly (steadily) rotates to the left then flicks back to the right.

    The odd thing is that they stabilise the head independently of the body, wings and tail.

    They also have force-sensors and airflow sensors distributed all over the wings. Some recent UAV research suggests force-sensing has advantages over inertial sensing for dealing with turbulence.

  • Kind of funny regarding the central ear IMU. The knowing that there is a gravity pull down made the bird react accordingly.


  • Hummingbirds are always my favorites at this.  They pull up near a flower or a feeder and their head stops completely while their center of gravity keeps swinging around all over the place:

    It would be nice to close the loop this well in such a small package...

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