Mandyam Srinivasan is a biologist who brings mathematical techniques to the study of vision, navigation and cognition in animals and insects with simple nervous systems. He also applies his results to robotics. Mandyam’s research is helping us to understand how vision guides and shapes behaviour.
He investigates how survival behaviour and competition in species such as bees results in more finely tuned vision. Simply by watching a bird flying through trees in a forest, a bee landing on a delicate flower or a person ducking to avoid being hit by a flying object, it is possible to observe the eye and brain working together to solve complex visuomotor tasks — connecting seeing and perceiving with steering and navigation.
By describing visuomotor processes mathematically, Mandyam’s findings are enabling engineers to program robots, allowing machines to make similar connections and achieve similar results. This work has broad applications in unmanned aerial vehicles, also known as drones.
Interest and expertise
Engineering, control (incl robotics)
Anatomy, physiology and neurosciences
Organismal biology, evolution and ecology
Organismal biology (including invertebrate and vertebrate zoology)
Vision, Visual information processing, optic flow, insect flight, bird flight