By mimicking the bulging, bowl-shaped eyes possessed by dragonflies, praying mantises, houseflies and other insects, a team of researchers that includes a University of Colorado Boulder engineer has built an experimental digital camera that can take exceptionally wide-angle photos without distorting the image.
To create the innovative camera, which also allows for a practically infinite depth of field, the scientists used stretchable electronics and a pliable sheet of microlenses made from a material similar to that used for contact lenses. The researchers described the camera in an article published today in the journal Nature.
Conventional wide-angle lenses, such as fisheyes, distort the images they capture at the periphery, a consequence of the mismatch of light passing through a hemispherically curved surface of the lens only to be captured by the flat surface of the electronic detector.
For the digital camera described in the new study, the researchers were able to create an electronic detector that can be curved into the same hemispherical shape as the lens, eliminating the distortion.
“The most important and most revolutionizing part of this camera is to bend electronics onto a curved surface,” said Jianliang Xiao, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at CU-Boulder and co-lead author of the study. “Electronics are all made of silicon, mostly, and silicon is very brittle, so you can’t deform the silicon. Here, by using stretchable electronics we can deform the system; we can put it onto a curved surface.”
Creating a camera inspired by the compound eyes of arthropods — animals with exoskeletons and jointed legs, including all insects as well as scorpions, spiders, lobsters and centipedes, among other creatures — has been a sought-after goal. Compound eyes typically have a lower resolution than the eyes of mammals, but they give arthropods a much larger field of view than mammalian eyes as well as high sensitivity to motion and an infinite depth of field.
Compound eyes consist of a collection of smaller eyes called ommatidia, and each small eye is made up of an independent corneal lens as well as a crystalline cone, which captures the light traveling through the lens. The number of ommatidia determines the resolution and varies widely among arthropods. Dragonflies, for example, have about 28,000 tiny eyes while worker ants have only in the neighborhood of 100.
Imitating the corneal lens-crystalline cone pairings, the camera created by Xiao and his colleagues has 180 miniature lenses, each of which is backed with its own small electronic detector. The number of lenses used in the camera is similar to the number of ommatidia in the compound eyes of fire ants and bark beetles.
The electronics and the lenses are both flat when fabricated, said Xiao, who began working on the project as a postdoctoral researcher in John Roger’s lab at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This allows the product to be manufactured using conventional systems.
“This is the key to our technology,” Xiao said. “We can fabricate an electronic system that is compatible with current technology. Then we can scale it up.”
The Latest Bing News on:
Insect eye-inspired camera
- Kyrgyz cricket farm hopes to tap Chinese insects marketon June 19, 2021 at 3:43 pm
With one eye on the lucrative Chinese market just across the border, Gaparov launches Kyrgyzstan's first cricket farm.
- As temperatures rise, health experts warn that common gnats can cause eye infectionson June 17, 2021 at 11:49 pm
Health experts warn that insects like the common gnat, which can be found near areas like the LA river, can cause eye infections. Chris Wolfe reports live for the KTLA 5 news on June 17, 2021.
- Odd Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Bug Causing Battery Drainon June 16, 2021 at 4:55 am
A rather odd bug has been discovered in the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, and it’s causing battery drain issues. Various Galaxy S21 Ultra owners have reported ...
- They Rage-Quit the School System—and They're Not Going Backon June 3, 2021 at 12:00 am
Other BFHES families pulled their children from schools after they overheard how teachers spoke to their children, admonishing students who didn’t maintain eye contact or keep cameras on.
- The Things They Carriedon June 1, 2021 at 5:37 am
Her eyes were gray and neutral, her lips slightly open as she stared straight-on at the camera. At night ... she wrote, that had inspired her to pick up the pebble and to carry it in her breast ...
- Monuments to failureon May 25, 2021 at 5:00 pm
Automatic street toilets, a Taj Mahal-inspired food court ... is integrated with 140 Variable Message Sign (VMS) and 998 CCTV cameras, but the question is just how many motorists actually rely ...
- Google's patent for an in-display camera works like a magic trickon May 21, 2021 at 1:17 pm
Notice a bug? Let us know here.
- If COVID Isn’t Scary Enough, Robert and Michelle King Add Zombies and Deliver ‘The Bite’on May 21, 2021 at 11:52 am
Five years ago, Michelle and Robert King created and executive produced a political satire entitled “BrainDead,” in which extraterrestrial insects ... they were inspired to step back into ...
- “Nature and forest are part of my life” – we interview a forest protectoron May 19, 2021 at 5:00 pm
Then all of sudden the windblows from the mountain with a thick white fog that comes to me and covers me, and the insects stop making a noise. That’s what Nature and Forest mean to me. What inspired ...
The Latest Google Headlines on:
Insect eye-inspired camera
The Latest Bing News on:
Experimental digital camera
- SpaceGrime Announces Space Initiative with Xon June 16, 2021 at 6:31 am
SpaceGrime intends to be a decentralized financial technology ecosystem where the intrinsic value is derived from memes SAN FRANCISCO, CA / ACCESSWIRE / June 16, 2021 / SpaceGrime is an experimental ...
- Buyers of Amazon Devices Are Guinea Pigs. That’s a Problem.on June 16, 2021 at 2:00 am
Amazon’s experimental approach to product design can hurt your wallet and the environment. Why does it need our help to figure out what it’s doing?
- Is culture’s digital phase starting to fade or will online events continue?on June 13, 2021 at 9:00 pm
For Cian O’Brien, director of Project Arts Centre, the past year has provided room to rethink approaches and reimagine spaces, though livestreaming has had its challenges ...
- Denis O'Hare on The Nevers, True Blood, and American Horror Story season 10on June 11, 2021 at 8:00 pm
Next up, we're speaking to The Nevers star Denis O'Hare. Denis O'Hare is the kind of actor who requires a separate wiki page to list all of the award recognition he's received, which, FYI, includes a ...
- An Anti-Vaccine Film Targeted to Black Americans Spreads False Informationon June 9, 2021 at 10:12 am
A new movie produced by Robert F. Kennedy Jr's anti-vaccine group tries to capitalize on the COVID-19 pandemic, the racial justice movement and renewed interest in the history of medical racism.
- ‘Speculation’ performance explores vision loss at Festival of Live Digital Arton June 7, 2021 at 6:11 am
and experimental visual projections. A digital version of the production is part of the program of the 2021 Festival of Live Digital Art (FOLDA), taking place online from June 9-13. It’s central ...
- Mobile robot takes orders from silhouetted hand gestures (not that one)on June 1, 2021 at 12:31 pm
Researchers have created a new digital sense, something between vision and touch, for robots interacting with humans.
- Digital crop protection from disease and pest plantson June 1, 2021 at 6:52 am
In the FarmerSpace digital experimental field ... For this purpose, we also used camera recordings of robots driving over the field. The evaluation of the results, however, is not yet available ...
- EU tests digital barriers at migration flashpoint along Greece-Turkey borderon May 31, 2021 at 12:18 am
Physical and experimental new digital barriers are being tested at ... The artificial intelligence-powered monitoring network of cameras and sensors follows extensive testing of futuristic ...