Providing an autonomous hexapod walking robot with the ability to reorientate: application of a novel ant-inspired celestial compass

  • Dupeyroux Julien
  • Viollet Stéphane
  • Serres Julien


Insects like desert ants have photoreceptors in their Dorsal Rim Area sensitive to the ultraviolet skylight polarization pattern. Taking inspiration from insects allows us to develop smart sensors. A bio-inspired celestial compass has been developed in the aim of stabilizing the heading of a hexapod robot, which can estimate its heading direction from the linearly polarized skylight in the ultraviolet (UV) range. Field results will be presented and will show their reliability and accuracy with respect to various weather conditions. Finally, our celestial compass can be used as an alternative to both magnetometers failure in highly disturbed environment, and GPS limited precision.