Insect-Inspired, Spike-Based, in-Sensor, and Night-Time Collision Detector Based on Atomically Thin and Light-Sensitive Memtransistors

Darsith Jayachandran, Andrew Pannone, Mayukh Das, Thomas F. Schranghamer, Dipanjan Sen, Saptarshi Das

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Detecting a potential collision at night is a challenging task owing to the lack of discernible features that can be extracted from the available visual stimuli. To alert the driver or, alternatively, the maneuvering system of an autonomous vehicle, current technologies utilize resource draining and expensive solutions such as light detection and ranging (LiDAR) or image sensors coupled with extensive software running sophisticated algorithms. In contrast, insects perform the same task of collision detection with frugal neural resources. Even though the general architecture of separate sensing and processing modules is the same in insects and in image-sensor-based collision detectors, task-specific obstacle avoidance algorithms allow insects to reap substantial benefits in terms of size and energy. Here, we show that insect-inspired collision detection algorithms, when implemented in conjunction with in-sensor processing and enabled by innovative optoelectronic integrated circuits based on atomically thin and photosensitive memtransistor technology, can greatly simplify collision detection at night. The proposed collision detector eliminates the need for image capture and image processing yet demonstrates timely escape responses for cars on collision courses under various real-life scenarios at night. The collision detector also has a small footprint of ∼40 μm2 and consumes only a few hundred picojoules of energy. We strongly believe that the proposed collision detectors can augment existing sensors necessary for ensuring autonomous vehicular safety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalACS nano
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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