Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Scientists Make Insect-Like Compound Eye Sensor

This post comes close to bridging my hobby (photography, obviously) and my real occupation (science).
A project at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign has produced the first electronic sensor that uses the concept of compound eyes, as demonstrated in nature by many insect eyes. Compound eyes are made up of independent imaging sensors, known as ommatidia. Each ommatidium has its own lens, independent of all the others, and its own sensor.
(Click Here) to read a review of the project on the BBC news blog.
This design from nature has the benefit of being able to cover a very wide angle without extreme distortion as seen with a single wide angle lens, and it can simultaneously focus at multiple distances.
While the immediate applications being considered for the compound sensor include miniature flying robots and such, it does make me wonder how it could be applied to art. Very interesting.