An analog VLSI implementation of a smart microsensor that mimics the early visual processing stage in insects is described with an emphasis on the overall concept and the front-end detection. The system employs the 'smart sensor' paradigm in that the detectors and processing circuitry are integrated on the one chip. The integrated circuit is composed of sixty channels of photodetectors and parallel processing elements. The photodetection circuitry includes p-well junction diodes on a 2μm CMOS process and a logarithmic compression to increase the dynamic range of the system. The future possibility of gallium arsenide implementation is discussed. The processing elements behind each photodetector contain a' low frequency differentiator where subthreshold design methods have been used. The completed IC is ideal for motion detection, particularly collision avoidance tasks, as it essentially detects distance, speed & bearing of an object. The Horridge Template Model for insect vision has been directly mapped into VLSI and therefore the IC truly exploits the beauty of nature in that the insect eye is so compact with parallel processing, enabling compact motion detection without the computational overhead of intensive imaging, full image extraction and interpretation. This world-first has exciting applications in the areas of automobile anti-collision, IVHS, autonomous robot guidance, aids for the blind, continuous process monitoring/web inspection and automated welding, for example.