theis a common practice for technological innovations. Whether it’s the or volatiles to improve the flight performance of or the structure of a vehicle with the , examples abound. Among the novelties in of there is the experiment carried out by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology ( ) in the United States on artificial eyesight. Their inspiration is the , whose males have the particularity of being equipped with an enormous claw. As another specificity, this crab has a visual system capable of processing both the visible, but also its polarization.
The two light signals are managed simultaneously and separately by the nervous system of the crab. A process that increases the contrast of a subject, relative to its background, which is useful when the crab is in a muddy environment to avoid an attack. The researchers therefore relied on this natural ability to develop an artificial vision system capable of reproducing the vision of thewhether underwater or on land.
An eye that sees 360°
Thisartificial looks like a small spherical black ball. Like the crab’s eye, it combines an array of flat microlenses with an index profile of graduated. The assembly is traversed by a network of flexible photodiodes. With this process, the light rays coming from several sources always converge at the same place on the of picture. While current artificial vision systems are specialized in an environment, terrestrial or aquatic, this sphere can do both with the addition of a field of vision of almost 360°.
By mixing the two types of vision, it also delivers a 3D view. Other models ofexist. In these other cases, the scientists were inspired by the eyes of insects or . But, in all cases, their field of vision was limited to a maximum of 180°. Their ability to maintain focus when the eye was submerged, or out of water, was also not good.