Angle eyes cam

The technology won’t likely be used in consumer digital cameras any time soon.

But the insect-eye cameras could be used in medical devices, such as endoscopes, which give physicians a look inside the human body.

Researchers faced the tricky task of bending the camera into a hemispherical shape without distorting the image created by each lens or ruining the electronics beneath the tiny lenses.

Rogers and his colleagues put the tiny lenses on top of columns connected to a flexible base membrane—all made from elastomeric polydimethylsiloxane material, which is also used in contact lenses.

Each supporting cylindrical post protected its lens from any bending or stretching in the base membrane.

“We think of the insect world as an inspiration for design, but we’re not constrained by it,” says John Rogers, a physical chemist and materials engineer at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

“It’s not biomimicry; it’s bioinspiration.” Biological insect eyes consist of hundreds or thousands of the tiny units, each having a lens, pigment, and photoreceptors.

You need a straightforward set of key terms to describe them.

When describing camera angles, or creating them yourself, you have to think about three important factors When describing different cinematic shots, different terms are used to indicate the amount of subject matter contained within a frame, how far away the camera is from the subject, and the perspective of the viewer.

A 180-pixel-resolution camera may not do much right now, but the camera design can scale up its resolution by adding more units to the overall array.

Rogers anticipates making camera designs with better resolution than the eyes of praying mantises (15 000 eye units) and dragonflies (28 000 eye units).

The centimeter-wide digital camera has 180 microlenses—roughly what fire ants or bark beetles have in their compound eyes—placed on a hemispherical array.

Researchers hope their design will eventually lead to insect-eye cameras that exceed even nature’s blueprints, according to a report in the 2 May issue of the journal .

The array of tiny lenses sat on a second layer of stretchable silicon photodiodes that converted the focused light from the lenses into current or voltage.

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