Crab-inspired artificial vision system works on land and underwater

There have been many previous attempts to develop cameras that mimic the eyes of insects, fish, and other creatures. However, the development of artificial vision systems that can see both underwater and on land has apparently been fairly limited. In addition, biomimetic cameras are typically limited by their 180-degree field of view. Now a team of scientists from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST) and Seoul National University in Korea have developed a new artificial vision system with a 360-degree field of view. View that can work on amphibious machines.

The team was inspired by the semi-terrestrial fiddler crab, which has a 3D field of vision in all directions. They have evolved to be able to see almost everything at once, both on land and underwater, to help them avoid attacks and see how they communicate with other fiddler crabs. Scientists seem to have had trouble finding a way to maintain a camera’s ability to focus as the environment changes, so this team decided to take a closer look at the fiddler crab.

The resulting artificial eye is an unassuming black sphere that combines different materials and lenses. Its configuration allows light rays from multiple sources to converge in the same place, regardless of the environment’s refractive index – in other words, whether the device is underwater or not. The team tested the technology by conducting air and water experiments: to be precise, they projected “cute” objects in the form of a dolphin, an airplane, a submarine, a fish and a ship at different distances and in different directions Angle on the artificial vision system. The result? They found that their camera could successfully detect the objects whether they were submerged in water or not.

Young Min Song, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at GIST, said:

“Our system could be useful in the development of unconventional applications, such as panoramic motion detection and obstacle avoidance in ever-changing environments, augmented and virtual reality.”

Other potential applications Song didn’t mention are population monitoring and environmental monitoring, which could make the technology an invaluable tool for keeping a close eye on vulnerable, vulnerable, and threatened species. You can view the scientists’ paper for more details on the new image processing system in Nature.

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