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Swiss Team's Prototype Mimics Insect's Eye To Give 180 Degree Vision

Insects as you know possess compound eyes. They may not provide them as good quality vision as compared to ours but they have a wider vision along with the capability of instantaneously adapting their vision in various lighting conditions. Taking their inspiration from the above facts a Swiss research team titled CurvACE has developed a Curved Artificial Compound Eye (CACE) prototype that mimics the compound eye of an insect to give a 180-degree sight.

Curvace’s design for biomimetic compound eyes consists of a micro-lens array, a neuromorphic photodetector array and a flexible printed circuit board which are combined to form a 1mm thick mechanically flexible imager. Using the above design they have been able to make an artificial compound eye that has a hemispherical field of view with embedded and programmable low-power signal processing, high temporal resolution and local adaptation to illumination.

Miniature Curved Artificial Compound Eyes

Since this prototype is based on the vision of a fly it is not suitable for capture high quality images but they will be able to provide a wide field-of-view and a deeper depth of field. While conventional cameras take considerable amount of time while transitioning various amount of illumination, this prototype has no trouble in coping up with abrupt transitions. The team expects that their prototype would be useful in wide field motion detection and experimental testing of insect vision theories. Sources have also added that when a couple of CurvACE sensors are put together they can form 360 degree panoramic sensor systems that are small enough to be fitted on micro drones.

Source: IEEE Spectrum

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