Insect eyes are the newest inspiration for drone vision
In order to improve drone accuracy, researchers at the Laboratory of Intelligent Systems at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology have developed tiny artificial eyes that mimic those of insects.
Each eye weighs 2 milligrams, which is only 1/1000th the weight of a dime.
Digital cameras have been used to aid drone movement, but as technology progresses they have become too bulky for most missions. Although the artificial eyes have low resolution, they are able to detect light and movement with better accuracy.
By arranging three photodetectors, or light sensors, into a triangle and putting a lens on top, drones will be able to detect movement in multiple directions. Soon more eyes will be added to the equipment.
Researchers are also developing what they call "vision tape," which features a multitude of tiny eyes on a flexible piece of material. This could help see drones see 360-degree views, or could be attached to furniture, vehicles, and clothing.
Facts about insect eyes:
House flies have about 6,000 eye facets, and dragonflies have 30,000.
Dragonfly light facets, or ommatidia, can perceive the normal color spectrum in addition to UV light.
Compound eyes, unlike human eyes, have a poor resolution but are better at detecting movement and light polarization.
Cover image: Wikimedia Commons