Imperial College London


Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Bioengineering

Research Associate







Royal School of MinesSouth Kensington Campus





Publication Type

10 results found

Huang JV, Krapp HG, 2023, Fly H1-Cell Distance Estimation in a Monocular Virtual Reality Environment, Pages: 325-337, ISBN: 9783031388569

The ability of animals and robots to move through a given environment without colliding with any obstacles requires a robust distance estimation mechanism. Previous electrophysiological studies and work using a biohybrid fly-robot-interface (FRI) suggest that fly directional-selective interneurons may be involved in the neural control of collision-avoidance behaviour. We have set up a virtual reality (FlyVR) environment and studied the blowfly’s H1-cell, an interneuron analyzing visual wide-field motion, to access its distance-dependent responses that was discovered using the FRI. The results gathered under open-loop FlyVR conditions are in qualitative agreement with open- and closed-loop data obtained on the FRI. They suggest that the capability of flies to estimate distance may depend on the animal’s specific movement trajectory in combination with the receptive field properties of the H1-cell. Our findings in the fly motion vision pathway may inform the design of energy-efficient collision avoidance strategies for autonomous robotic systems.

Book chapter

Huang JV, Wei Y, Krapp HG, 2019, A biohybrid fly-robot interface system that performs active collision avoidance., Bioinspir Biomim, Vol: 14, Pages: 065001-065001

We have designed a bio-hybrid fly-robot interface (FRI) to study sensorimotor control in insects. The FRI consists of a miniaturized recording platform mounted on a two-wheeled robot and is controlled by the neuronal spiking activity of an identified visual interneuron, the blowfly H1-cell. For a given turning radius of the robot, we found a proportional relationship between the spike rate of the H1-cell and the relative distance of the FRI from the patterned wall of an experimental arena. Under closed-loop conditions during oscillatory forward movements biased towards the wall, collision avoidance manoeuvres were triggered whenever the H1-cell spike rate exceeded a certain threshold value. We also investigated the FRI behaviour in corners of the arena. The ultimate goal is to enable autonomous and energy-efficient manoeuvrings of the FRI within arbitrary visual environments.

Journal article

Yue X, Huang JV, Krapp HG, Drakakis EMet al., 2018, An implantable mixed-signal CMOS die for battery-powered in vivo blowfly neural recordings, Microelectronics Journal, Vol: 74, Pages: 34-42, ISSN: 0026-2692

A mixed-signal die containing two differential input amplifiers, a multiplexer and a 50 KSPS, 10-bit SAR ADC, has been designed and fabricated in a 0.35 μm CMOS process for in vivo neural recording from freely moving blowflies where power supplied voltage drops quickly due to the space/weight limited insufficient capacity of the battery. The designed neural amplifier has a 66 + dB gain, 0.13 Hz-5.3 KHz bandwidth and 0.39% THD. A 20% power supply voltage drop causes only a 3% change in amplifier gain and 0.9-bit resolution degrading for SAR ADC while the on-chip data modulation reduces the chip size, rendering the designed chip suitable for battery-powered applications. The fabricated die occupies 1.1 mm2 while consuming 238 μW, being suitable for implantable neural recordings from insects as small as a blowfly for electrophysiological studies of their sensorimotor control mechanisms. The functionality of the die has been validated by recording the signals from identified interneurons in the blowfly visual system.

Journal article

Huang JV, Wei Y, Krapp HG, 2018, Active Collision Free Closed-Loop Control of a Biohybrid Fly-Robot Interface, 7th International Conference on Biomimetic and Biohybrid Systems, Living Machines (LM), Publisher: SPRINGER INTERNATIONAL PUBLISHING AG, Pages: 213-222, ISSN: 0302-9743

Conference paper

Huang J, Krapp H, 2017, Neuronal Distance Estimation by a Fly-Robot Interface, Jiaqi Huang

Conference paper

Huang JV, Krapp HG, 2017, Neuronal Distance Estimation by a Fly-Robot Interface, Editors: Mangan, Cutkosky, Mura, Verschure, Prescott, Lepora, Publisher: SPRINGER INTERNATIONAL PUBLISHING AG, ISBN: 978-3-319-63536-1

Book chapter

Huang JV, Wang Y, Krapp HG, 2016, Wall Following in a Semi-closed-loop Fly-Robotic Interface, 5th International Conference on Biomimetic and Biohybrid Systems (Living Machines), Publisher: SPRINGER INTERNATIONAL PUBLISHING AG, Pages: 85-96, ISSN: 0302-9743

Conference paper

Huang JV, Krapp HG, 2015, Closed-Loop Control in an Autonomous Bio-hybrid Robot System Based on Binocular Neuronal Input, 4th International Conference on Biomimetic and Biohybrid Systems (Living Machines), Publisher: SPRINGER-VERLAG BERLIN, Pages: 164-174, ISSN: 0302-9743

Conference paper

Huang JV, Krapp HG, 2014, A predictive model for closed-loop collision avoidance in a fly-robotic interface, Pages: 130-141, ISSN: 0302-9743

Here we propose a control design for a calibrated fly-brain-robotic interface. The interface uses the spiking activity of an identified visual interneuron in the fly brain, the H1-cell, to control the trajectory of a 2-wheeled robot such that it avoids collision with objects in the environment. Control signals will be based on a comparison between predicted responses - derived from the known robot dynamics and the H1-cell responses to visual motion in an isotropic distance distribution - and the actually observed spike rate measured during movements of the robot. The suggested design combines two fundamental concepts in biological sensorimotor control to extract task-specific information: active sensing and the use of efference copies (forward models). In future studies we will use the fly-robot interface to investigate multisensory integration. © 2014 Springer International Publishing.

Conference paper

Huang JV, Krapp HG, 2013, Miniaturized electrophysiology platform for fly-robot interface to study multisensory integration, Pages: 119-130, ISSN: 0302-9743

To study multisensory integration, we have designed a fly-robot interface that will allow a blowfly to control the movements of a mobile robotic platform. Here we present successfully miniaturized recording equipment which meets the required specifications in terms of size, gain, bandwidth and stability. Open-loop experiments show that despite its small size, stable recordings from the identified motion-sensitive H1-cell are feasible when: (i) the fly is kept stationary and stimulated by external motion of a visual pattern; (ii) the fly and platform are rotating in a stationary visual environment. Comparing the two data sets suggests that rotating the fly or the pattern, although resulting in the same visual motion stimulus, induce slightly different H1-cell response. This may reflect the involvement of mechanosensory systems during rotations of the fly. The next step will be to use H1-cell responses for the control of unrestrained movements of the robot under closed-loop conditions. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Conference paper

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