Bio-inspired retinal optic flow perception in robotic navigation
Licentiatavhandling, 2021

This thesis concerns the bio-inspired visual perception of motion with emphasis on locomotion targeting robotic systems. By continuously registering moving visual features in the human retina, a sensation of a visual flow cue is created. An interpretation of visual flow cues forms a low-level motion perception more known as retinal optic flow. Retinal optic flow is often mentioned and credited in human locomotor research but only in theory and simulated environments so far. Reconstructing the retinal optic flow fields using existing methods of estimating optic flow and experimental data from naive test subjects provides further insight into how it interacts with intermittent control behavior and dynamic gazing. The retinal optic flow is successfully demonstrated during a vehicular steering task scenario and further supports the idea that humans may use such perception to aid their ability to correct their steering during navigation.

To achieve the reconstruction and estimation of the retinal optic flow, a set of optic flow estimators were fairly and systematically evaluated on the criteria on run-time predictability and reliability, and performance accuracy. A formalized methodology using containerization technology for performing the benchmarking was developed to generate the results. Furthermore, the readiness in road vehicles for the adoption of modern robotic software and related software processes were investigated. This was done with special emphasis on real-time computing and introducing containerization and microservice design paradigm. By doing so, continuous integration, continuous deployment, and continuous experimentation were enabled in order to aid further development and research. With the method of estimating retinal optic flow and its interaction with intermittent control, a more complete vision-based bionic steering control model is to be proposed and tested in a live robotic system.

robotic navigation

active fixation

visual perception


Retinal optic flow fields


optic flow

retinal flow path

Opponent: Esko Lehtonen, Senior Scientist at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Espoo, Finland


Björnborg Nguyen

Chalmers, Mekanik och maritima vetenskaper, Fordonsteknik och autonoma system

Nguyen, B., Benderius, O., Retinal optic flow, active gaze, and intermittent control

Systematic benchmarking for reproducibility of computer vision algorithms for real-time systems: The example of optic flow estimation

2019 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS),; (2019)p. 5264-5269

Paper i proceeding

Containerized development and microservices for self-driving vehicles: Experiences & best practices

Proceedings - 2017 IEEE International Conference on Software Architecture Workshops, ICSAW 2017: Side Track Proceedings,; (2017)p. 7-12

Paper i proceeding


Rymd- och flygteknik

Inbäddad systemteknik

Robotteknik och automation


Datavetenskap (datalogi)


ReVeRe (Research Vehicle Resource)

Thesis for the degree of Licentiate – Department of Mechanics and Maritime Sciences: 2021:1





Opponent: Esko Lehtonen, Senior Scientist at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Espoo, Finland

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