Researching Biologically Inspired Visual Models

September 12, 2011
School of Engineering, Bangalore

Of late, natural systems are beginning to inspire a lot of research and development.

Biomimicry experts are closely examining nature, its systems and processes to design solutions to human problems.


Now researchers at Amrita University are studying the human eye in order to design biologically-inspired computational visual recognition systems.

“Drivers on roads and highways pay greater attention to road signs when compared to other general scenery,” explained Amudha Joseph, Assistant Professor, School of Engineering, who is leading this work at Amrita’s Bangalore campus.

A sign board recognition system was created by the Amrita team based on concepts of the human visual system. “This biologically inspired system is able to detect regions of interest in images,” Amudha elaborated.

Amudha-Joseph“Such a system can assist a driver for navigation on the road. It can also facilitate a robotic application to track a person or an object,” she added.

Working closely with Amudha was Padmakar Reddy S., Postgraduate Scholar at the School of Engineering, Bangalore. The duo was guided by Dr. K.P. Soman, Center for Computational and Engineering Networking at Amrita’s Coimbatore campus.

Over the past few months, the team has published its research in the Journal of Computing, International Journal of Computer Applications and International Journal of Computer Science Issues.

Amudha further elaborated on her research work.

“I focus on using biologically-inspired visual models for automatic target detection in cluttered natural scenes, making video annotations and autonomous robotic navigation on land or under water.”

“Computational vision systems are far from perfect, but good systems exist. In robotics, vision tasks often require real-time performance and reliable recognition capabilities.”

“A biologically inspired approach helps reduce computational complexity by detecting only what is of interest in a given situation.”


“Neuro-biological foundations, which our computational models are based on, are not yet completely understood. Major research in this field is currently ongoing at the University of Southern California, University of Bonn, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, etc.”

“In India, in addition to Amrita, IIT Bombay, IISc Bangalore and University of Allahabad are some institutions focusing on this work.”

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