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Researchers Create Artificial Insect Eye

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the fly-spy dept.

140

maxzilla writes "An artificial insect eye that could be used in ultra-thin cameras has been developed by scientists in the US.The dimpled eye, contains over 8,500 hexagonal lenses packed into an area the size of a pinhead. The dome-shaped structure, described in the journal Science, is similar to a bee's eye. The researchers, from the University of California, Berkeley, say the work may also shed light on how insects developed such complex, visual systems. Darpa is also funding this project with applications expected for digital cameras and high speed motion detectors."

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journal article text (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15219124)

Biologically Inspired Artificial Compound Eyes
Ki-Hun Jeong, Jaeyoun Kim, Luke P. Lee*

This work presents the fabrication of biologically inspired artificial compound eyes. The artificial ommatidium, like that of an insect's compound eyes, consists of a refractive polymer microlens, a light-guiding polymer cone, and a self-aligned waveguide to collect light with a small angular acceptance. The ommatidia are omnidirectionally arranged along a hemispherical polymer dome such that they provide a wide field of view similar to that of a natural compound eye. The spherical configuration of the microlenses is accomplished by reconfigurable microtemplating, that is, polymer replication using the deformed elastomer membrane with microlens patterns. The formation of polymer waveguides self-aligned with microlenses is also realized by a self-writing process in a photosensitive polymer resin. The angular acceptance is directly measured by three-dimensional optical sectioning with a confocal microscope, and the detailed optical characteristics are studied in comparison with a natural compound eye.

Biomolecular Nanotechnology Center, Berkeley Sensor and Actuator Center, Department of Bioengineering, 485 Evans Hall No. 1762, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.

* To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: lplee@socrates.berkeley.edu

Compound eyes in nature present intriguing topics in physiological optics because of their unique optical scheme for imaging. For example, a bee's eye has thousands of integrated optical units called ommatidia spherically arranged along a curvilinear surface so that each unit points in a different direction (Fig. 1A). Each ommatidium consists of a light-diffracting facet lens, a crystalline cone, and photoreceptor cells with a wave-guiding rhabdom (1-3) (Fig. 1B). The omnidirectionally arranged ommatidium collects incident light with a narrow range of angular acceptance and independently contributes to the capability of wide field-of-view (FOV) detection (4-6).

Figure 1 Fig. 1. Anatomical comparisons between a natural compound eye and an artificial compound eye described from the cross sections. (A) An optical micrograph of a honeybee's apposition compound eye (courtesy of B. Greiner). As an individual optical unit, (B) a natural ommatidium consists of a facet lens, a crystalline cone, and photoreceptor cells with a wave-guiding rhabdom. (C) A scanning electron micrograph of an artificial compound eye and (D) an artificial ommatidium comprising a microlens, a polymer cone, and an optical waveguide that has a higher index core surrounded by a lower index cladding in a polymer resin. Light impinging onto a microlens is coupled with polymer cones and waveguides and then guided to the end of the waveguide. [View Larger Version of this Image (76K GIF file)]

Artificial implementation of compound eyes has attracted a great deal of research interest, because the wide FOV exhibits a huge potential for medical, industrial, and military applications. So far, imaging with a FOV over 90 has been achieved only with fish eye lenses, which rely on bulky and expensive multiple lenses and require stringent alignment. The use of miniaturized, arrayed optical components fabricated by using semiconductor planar processing technologies has been proposed to simultaneously mimic the structure and function of an individual ommatidium and the large-scale collection of ommatidia. The imaging systems using microlens arrays (7, 8) or graded index rod arrays (9, 10) in combination with matching pinhole arrays are good examples. More biomimetic efforts to implement artificial compound eyes were reviewed in (11) along with an outline of biological imaging systems. Achieving a wide FOV in those structures, however, has been hindered mainly by the inherent flatness of the arrayed optical components. In addition, the need to align multiple layers of arrayed components during assembly of the above-mentioned imaging systems gives them no advantage over fish eye lenses. For practical implementations of compound eyes with wide FOV, the requirement of curvature-compatible, self-aligned fabrications schemes is evident.

In this work, biologically inspired artificial compound eyes were developed in a small form factor with three-dimensional (3D) configurations. These biomimetic compound eyes are anatomically as well as functionally close to natural compound eyes (Fig. 1C). The artificial ommatidium consists of a honeycomb-packed hexagonal microlens with a low Fresnel number (NF 10), a cuvette-shaped polymer cone, and a polymer waveguide that has a higher index solid core surrounded by a lower index solid cladding in the polymer resin (Fig. 1D). Three-dimensional polymer synthesis of an artificial compound eye can be realized through microlens templating, reconfigurable microtemplating, and self-writing in a photosensitive polymer resin. Each ommatidium was omnidirectionally arranged in a hemispherical polymer dome. Like the crystalline cone in nature, the polymer cone helps guide the focused light into the polymer waveguide, and subsequently the guided light arrives at the end of the waveguide core (12). Lastly, light detection can be done by photodetector arrays. In 3D implementation, microlens-assisted self-writing and polymer replication processes were used to minimize the lens-waveguide coupling loss and to realize a spherical configuration, respectively.

Polymer synthesis of artificial ommatidia can be done by using a microlens-assisted self-writing of waveguides and two cross-linking mechanisms in a photosensitive polymer resin (13) (Fig. 2A). Ultaviolet (UV) light was focused through low NF microlenses molded by a photosensitive polymer resin and was self-trapped after passing the focal plane because of the refractive index change by the photopolymerization (14-18).

Figure 2 Fig. 2. Polymer synthesis of artificial ommatidia. (A) Two-step cross-linking mechanisms, that is, photocross-linking for waveguide cores and thermal cross-linking for waveguide claddings. (B) Simulated refractive index distributions of polymer waveguides formed by microlens-assisted self-writing by four different values of E. Eth is the threshold irradiation dose that can initiate the cross-linking process in the polymer. (C) The formation of polymer cones and waveguide cores self-written by 300-m-diameter microlenses depending on UV exposure. (D) A dark-field micrograph of polymer cones and waveguide cores placed on a substrate after completely dissolving unexposed portions in a solvent before thermal cross-linking. Note that the waveguide cores fall down because of the high aspect ratio of core diameter to core length. (E) Optically sectioned confocal micrographs of light at 635 nm coupled through an artificial ommatidium before UV exposure (only microlens), after UV exposure (waveguide core by photocross-linking), and after UV exposure and thermal cross-linking. [View Larger Version of this Image (95K GIF file)]

The exposed portion above threshold energy for photopolymerization was photocross-linked by postbaking. The underexposed portion below threshold energy was still UV sensitive but was thermally cross-linked by heating above the temperature where a photoacid generator (PAG) in the photosensitive polymer resin starts to degrade. At that point, the unexposed portion became insensitive to additional UV light. In the experiment, a commercialized negative tone photoresist (SU-8, Microchem Corporation, Newton, MA) was used as a photosensitive polymer resin. Initially the refractive index of an SU-8 monomer in a liquid phase, measured by an Abbe refractometer (ARIAS 500, Reichert, Incorporated, Depew, NY), was nmonomer = 1.550. The index of a 1.5-m-thick thin monomer film, prepared by spincoating and a soft bake, increased to 1.584 because of the evaporation of SU-8 solvent, that is, gamma butyrolactone (GBL). After UV exposure of 900 mJ/cm2 and a postexposure bake, the index change measured by a spectroscopic ellipsometer increases up to {Delta}nphoto = 0.021, and the fully photocross-linked SU-8 index was nphoto = 1.605. After thermal cross-linking, the index of the exposed portion fully cross-linked by UV was constant, but that of the unexposed portion decreased by 0.008. Consequently, the maximum index change between both cross-linking core and cladding eventually turned out to be {Delta}nSU-8 = 0.029.

The formation of the self-written waveguide during UV exposure was simulated by using a fast Fourier transform-based beam propagation method (Fig. 2B). In the simulation, the propagating exposure beam, while being diffracted by the index distribution, imparts photon energy to the photosensitive medium and modifies its refractive index as well. The modified refractive index profile was used to simulate the next round of propagation, and so on. The imparted energy, or the irradiation dose, E, at one location has been calculated as the product of the field intensity at that point and the unit time duration. The increase in the refractive index is approximated to be linear between the initial and the saturated indices. The microlens first focuses the exposure beam with about 50 m of back focal length. The initial beam intensity and the unit time duration have been iteratively optimized to initiate the self-writing process from the focal point. The relatively large refractive index contrast of the photosensitive resin facilitated the formation of a straight, over-100-m-long waveguide. The "diffusion" of the refractive index due to the chemically amplifying nature of the photosensitive resin (SU-8) was ignored in this simulation. As a result, the simulated waveguide was thinner than the one obtained experimentally. The rough surface of the simulated waveguide, in contrast to the smooth surface of the actual self-written waveguides, can also be ascribed to the exclusion of the diffusion effect. The combined action of the high index contrast and the diffusive, self-smoothing index profile was required to improve the efficiency of the self-writing process. Other than that, the simulated index profiles taken when E reaches 5 to 20 times the value of the cross-linking threshold, Eth, exhibited good qualitative agreements with the observed waveguide structures. In our experiment, with the use of the previous method, the formation of large-scale artificial ommatidia self-written by 300-m microlenses depended on UV exposure energy. It turned out that the formation of a polymer cone occurs after that of a waveguide core as UV exposure energy increases (Fig. 2C). At the level of hexagonal microlens of 25 m in diameter, the formation of polymer cones and waveguide cores was also visualized by dark-field optical microscopy (Fig. 2D). The visualization was accomplished by dissolving unexposed portions in a solvent before thermal cross-linking. Polymer cones and waveguide cores were placed on a substrate because of the high aspect ratio of core diameter to core length.

The light guiding ({lambda} = 635 nm) through artificial ommatidia has also been demonstrated by optical sectioning along the optical axis with a laser scanning transmission confocal microscope. An artificial ommatidium after thermal cross-linking (microlens with F number of 1.93 (F/1.93), lens diameter of 30 m (DL = 30 m), and NF = 7.3; index difference between waveguide core and cladding was 0.029) showed strong light guiding in comparison with only a microlens or with only UV photopolymerization (Fig. 2E).

The spherical configuration of artificial ommatidia can be achieved through a polymer replication process by reconfigurable microtemplating, that is, the polymer replication using the deformed elastomer membrane with microlens patterns (19) and self-written waveguides with a lens-assisted UV exposure for self-written waveguides. Honeycomb-packed hexagonal photoresist microlens arrays were prepared on a silicon substrate (Fig. 3A), and the lens template was molded onto a 22-m-thick slab of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) elastomer (Fig. 3B). For reconfigurable microtemplating, a 5-mm-thick PDMS elastomer slab with a microfluidic channel and a circular through-hole 2.5 mm in diameter perforated by mechanical punching was permanently bonded to a 22-m-thick PDMS replica of concave microlenses after an oxygen plasma surface treatment. The microlens replica was then released from the microlens template (Fig. 3C). Negative air pressure ranging from 5 to 30 kPa was applied through a microfluidic channel to deform the PDMS membrane with concave microlenses (Fig. 3D). A solvent-free UV-curable epoxy resin (NOA 68, Norland Products Incorporated, Cranbury, NJ) was precisely dispensed onto the deformed elastomer membrane, covered with a glass coverslip, and then fully cross-linked for 2 hours with UV light of 0.5 mW/cm2 (Fig. 3E). For a batch replication, a 3D master mold was prepared with a five-by-five array of the 3D epoxy resin replicas with different curvatures glued on a Petri dish, and the master mold was again replicated with PDMS (Fig. 3F). The pattern polarity of the 3D PDMS replica was reversed by molding it with a commercial photosensitive polymer resin (NANO SU-8, formulated in cyclopentanone). The volume of 40 l was precisely dispensed in each concave dome and prebaked at 120C for 20 min to remove the solvent. An additional prebake process was also carried out at 120C for 1 hour right after covering each droplet with a 10-mm-diameter circular glass (Fig. 3G). The SU-8 replica with convex microlenses along the circumference kept its shape up to 120C because the glass transition temperature of SU-8 increases with the soft-bake temperature (20). However, the microlens patterns on an SU-8 droplet may disappear with an insufficient prebake. In particular, the release of the SU-8 replica needs to be carried out at room temperature; otherwise, the gel-like SU-8 may not completely release from the PDMS mold. Next, a partially coherent UV light source from a photolithographic tool (Q4000 MA, Quintel Corporation, Morgan Hill, CA; 12 mW/cm2 at 365 nm) was used to form a polymer cone and a waveguide under each microlens. The spherical arrangement of artificial ommatidia was determined by the spherical illumination of UV light, which can be achieved with a spherical mirror or a high numerical aperture (NA) condenser lens. In the experiment, an aspheric condenser lens (lens diameter of 23 mm, F/0.5, and back focal length of 6.9 mm) was chosen for ease of use in the experiment even though the angular span was limited by the NA of the condenser lens (Fig. 3H). For instance, the illumination angle for F/0.3 is ±45. However, a spherical mirror-assisted illumination is recommended for UV illumination with a wide angle. The spherically UV-exposed SU-8 replica was then postexposure baked (at 90C for 15 min) for photocross-linking and finally hard baked (at 150C for 3 hours) for thermal cross-linking. Two scanning electron microscope (SEM) images showed that honeycomb-packed hexagonal microlenses of about 8370 (F/2.2, 25 m in diagonal) are spherically arranged on a hemispherical polymer dome 2.5 mm in diameter (Fig. 3, I and J). Under the microlenses, self-aligned polymer cones and waveguide cores as well as cladding were observed by a cross-sectional SEM image (Fig. 3K).

Figure 3 Fig. 3. The 3D polymer synthesis of biomimetic artificial compound eyes using (A) a honeycomb-packed polymer microlens process, (B to G) a reconfigurable microtemplating polymer process, and (H) a self-written waveguide process in photosensitive polymer resin by lens-assisted radial UV exposure. (A) Microlens template by a resist reflow method, (B) first PDMS molding, (C) PDMS bonding, (D) PDMS membrane deformation, (E) replication with UV curable polymer resin, (F) second PDMS molding, (G) photosensitive polymer resin (SU-8) molding, and (H) lens-assisted radial UV exposure and thermal cross-linking for self-written waveguides. SEM images of an artificial compound eye. (I) Spherical arrangement of 8370 artificial ommatidia on a hemispherical polymer dome 2.5 mm in diameter, (J) hexagonal microlenses, and (K) a cross section with the spherical arrangement of artificial ommatidia consisting of microlenses, polymer cones, and waveguide arrays. [View Larger Version of this Image (81K GIF file)]

Light from point light sources at infinity was coupled into the omnidirectionally arranged ommatidia with different coupling efficiency because each ommatidium covered a different direction. Consequently, the angular sensitivity function (ASF) of a single ommatidium can be reconstructedbymeasuring the relative intensity of the light at the distal end of each ommatidium, as proposed in a previous work (21). However, the actual measurement had not been carried out yet. The ASF of a single ommatidium in an artificial compound eye was measured by performing 3D optical sectioning based on laser scanning confocal microscopy (Fig. 4A). The optical sectioning of the artificial compound eye was carried out under normally incident light at 532 nm with a transmission confocal microscope (Zeiss 510, Carl Zeiss MicroImaging, Incorporated, Thornwood, NY) (Fig. 4B). Starting from the apex of the artificial compound eye, the vertical scanning was performed over a range of 200 m with a 2-m increment. At each vertical increment, a 765-m-by-765-m area perpendicular to the incident light was laterally scanned with a 0.8-m resolution. The confocal image on the xy plane was taken at 80 m below the apex of the artificial compound eye. The cross-sectional confocal images scanned along the lines aa' and bb' are also shown at the top and right sides of the main image, respectively. The distributions of the relative output intensity measured along the two lines at the vertical position are also included on the bottom and left sides, respectively. The relative intensity of each peak represents the sensitivity of an individual ommatidium to different incidence angles. The observed distributions of relative intensity in x and y directions are slightly asymmetric because of the honeycomb packing of hexagonal microlenses.

Figure 4 Fig. 4. ASF of a single ommatidium directly measured from an artificial compound eye by using a laser scanning confocal microscope. (A) A schematic diagram of an experimental setup of a modified transmissive confocal microscope. (B) Optically sectioned 3D confocal images of an artificial compound eye coupled with normal incident light at 532 nm and the intensity distribution obtained along line aa' and bb'. (C) Comparison of ASFs between natural and artificial compound eyes. [View Larger Version of this Image (41K GIF file)]

To obtain the ASF of a single ommatidium, we first measured the orientation of each waveguide from the vertically scanned confocal images. The relative intensity distribution was plotted with respect to the incidence angle (Fig. 4C). Because of the tilting of the artificial ommatidium under confocal scanning, the measurement on the left-hand side was not complete. If a general symmetry is assumed, the acceptance angle, or the full width at half maximum of the measured ASF, is 4.4. The value is comparable to those of natural compound eyes, which range from 1.6 to 4.7 (22). As shown in the superimposed curve, the acceptance angle of a worker bee ommatidium is ~2.5 (23). We also reconstructed the theoretical ASFs by using the lens-waveguide coupling model proposed by Stavenga (12). The model takes both the diffraction by microscale lenses and the excitation of waveguide modes by the diffraction image into consideration. The results of reconstruction using only the fundamental waveguide mode were superimposed in Fig. 4C. We used the optical and structural parameters of the worker bee reported by Laughlin and Horridge (23) and Snyder and Pask (24). We point out that the use of only the fundamental mode of cylindrical waveguides for the reconstruction led to the best fit with experimental data for both cases. Although the approximation may be acceptable for waveguides in worker bee ommatidia, which support only two modes, it may not be applicable to the waveguides of artificial ommatidia, which support more than 10 modes. The unexpected agreement between the measured ASF and the single-mode approximated reconstruction suggests that the index distribution of the self-written waveguides deviates from the step profile and hence degrades the model. The current artificial ommatidium exhibits an acceptance angle wider than the interommatidial angle (~1.5), and it will suffer from overlap-induced image degradation. The main reason is that the curvature of the eyelet is increased by the large deformation of a polymer membrane during the polymer replication process. However, this problem can be resolved by controlling the local distribution of the microlenses. The optical sectioning technique not only enabled the visualization of the light propagation through microlenses but also facilitated the precise measurement of beam spot sizes at the focal plane of the microlenses and waveguide cores, waveguide modes, coupling loss, waveguide length, and most importantly the angular acceptance. More optical measurement results were comparable with the previously measured characteristics of the bee (Table 1). Our results show that both the physical dimensions and the optical characteristics of our artificial ommatidia are very comparable to those found in nature. Therefore, this 3D polymer fabrication method of biologically inspired optical systems has potential for a broad range of optical applications, such as data storage and readout, medical diagnostics, surveillance imaging, and light-field photography.

Hooray! (5, Funny)

Sathias (884801) | more than 7 years ago | (#15219132)

Now we won't have to provide blind insects with guide dogs!

Re:Hooray! (1, Funny)

Simon Garlick (104721) | more than 7 years ago | (#15219210)

Hold on, I thought eyes were so complex and amazing that they could only have been created by GAWD?

Re:Hooray! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15219300)

Well, almost. The argument is that they're so amazing and complex that they can only have been created by an intelligent designer, like GAWD or researchers from the University of California.

Personally, I find ID an incredibly stupid idea. Natural Selection combined with billions and billions of stars and almost infinite time is enough to explain everything in nature, imo.

But mocking intelligent design by using an example of ACTUAL intelligent design strikes me as a bit odd.

Re:Hooray! (-1)

somersault (912633) | more than 7 years ago | (#15219594)

Combining natural selection with stars is meaningless, because natural selection did not create life. I don't want to start up a big evolution/ID convo again, but .. assigning everything to infinite time and random variation requires just as much faith as believing in God. You can't explain 'everything' in nature without explaining how to create life, and where all matter actually came from.

And here the troll goes again... (2, Insightful)

DrYak (748999) | more than 7 years ago | (#15219717)

Sorry for feeding the troll, but :

The biggest difference between having faith in some deity or having faith in selection/randomness/ifinite time/etc... is that in case of the second, you can also try to disect the subtle mechanics of it and try to understand it, and then try to apply the knowledge you acquired. It makes you able to develop better medecine, or to be able to predict what will happen next according to the models you developped studying science (or in case of archeoly : try to guess what happened 'between' before the archeological evidence shows up). Which is hard to do with a deity, because you'll have to catch it first before being able to disect it, because as you're not a deity yourself you're not supposed to be able to understand it, and you aren't supposed to be able to predict what's is someone else head.
Evolution is a way to say "Let's try to understand how it works", ID is a way to say "Fuck, I give up. It's too hard to understand. It must have been done by [insert your favorite deity's name here]".

On the other hand, religious faith has generated some nice and interesting pieces of art and litterature, although it also managed to generate a lot of holy wars.

Second, EVOLUTION IS NOT PURELY RANDOM. Most moderne life form have (thru evlotion) acquired means to 're-use' what has been done before (example: by recombining and reshuffling functionnal parts) and evolve and adapt faster than just waiting until it happens by randomness.

(NOTE: I *do* work in a genetic lab. A *do* know what I'm speaking about)

Re:And here the troll goes again... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15220277)

is that in case of the second, you can also try to disect the subtle mechanics of it and try to understand it

alas, as so in the first. Unfortunately, some never try, or give up altogether. I don't know why some men are made so fragile.

Re:And here the troll goes again... (1)

Itchy Rich (818896) | more than 7 years ago | (#15220333)

(NOTE: I *do* work in a genetic lab. A *do* know what I'm speaking about)

I think you should be researching the sarcasm gene.

Re:Hooray! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15219718)

Loads of stars + loads of time = loads of odds of life suddenly happening
Life suddenly happening + evolution = eyes

Belief in god = retardation

Re:Hooray! (1)

IAmTheDave (746256) | more than 7 years ago | (#15220054)

Belief in god = retardation

Tell that to the thousands of scientists who believe in God. Tell that to all of the evolutionists that believe in God. Believing in God doesn't mean believing in ID or creationism.

Belief that you are better than everyone else because you are an aethist = sophmoric self-aggrandizing hubris.

Re:Hooray! (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 7 years ago | (#15220521)

Belief in god = retardation

Completely aside from the flamebait aspect of this statement, you have it arse about. As logical construct, it should go:

retardation = Belief in god.

Try not to confuse cause and effect.

Re:Hooray! (1, Redundant)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 7 years ago | (#15219324)

It just confirms that god currently works as a scientist in the US. Something we've known for a long time really... ;)

Re:Hooray! (0)

IAmTheDave (746256) | more than 7 years ago | (#15220037)

Hold on, I thought eyes were so complex and amazing that they could only have been created by GAWD?

Not "GAWD", but an an intelligent being of some sort. Just like these eyes, created by (in my book, anyway) a team of seriously intelligent beings.

Re:Hooray! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15220577)

yeah, a being so intelligent it puts your breathing tube and eating tube in the same hole. very smart.

Re:Hooray! (1)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 7 years ago | (#15220699)

A being so intelligent that it ran the retina nerves in front of the retina, and then programmed complex compensation systems to make the shadows that the nerves cast on the retina disappear from perception. Somebody thinking about it would have just run the nerves over the back of the retina instead. If you saw something like this in a software system, you'd say WTF.

Re:Hooray! (0, Redundant)

Adriax (746043) | more than 7 years ago | (#15219214)

Phew, that's good, the dog's sensitive noses were having problems with the lawyer's natural oders.

And for their next trick... (2, Interesting)

unitron (5733) | more than 7 years ago | (#15219154)

"Researchers Create Artificial Insect Eye"

When will they be getting around to the rest of the artificial insect?

Re:And for their next trick... (2, Interesting)

Dr. GeneMachine (720233) | more than 7 years ago | (#15219234)

Why build artificial insects when you can remote control cockroaches [wireheading.com] ?

Re:And for their next trick... (1)

RockWolf (806901) | more than 7 years ago | (#15219268)

*shrugs* Do both - that way you can see where you're going, and the other cockroaches won't laugh when their abducted egg-mate returns with the direction sense of a bot from CS 1.0. :P

Re:And for their next trick... (5, Funny)

Compuser (14899) | more than 7 years ago | (#15219281)

They mention swallowing a diagnostic tool
to see the insides of your stomach. The tool
would have this lens, some imaging chip and
a wireless link.
Now imagine swallowing a cockroach...

Re:And for their next trick... (1)

diablomonic (754193) | more than 7 years ago | (#15219556)

hehehe I thought your comment was s'posed to be a poem because of the format, and spent a good 30 seconds trying to figure out the timing hehe

You don't have to imagine... (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 7 years ago | (#15219598)

All you have to do is watch an episode of "Fear Factor". Those people will shove anything in thier mouths.

Re:You don't have to imagine... (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 7 years ago | (#15220488)

Seriously. Why don't they have a version that's just the stunts and none of the "gross-outs" I can't be the only person that doesn't want to see how many live, buttered worms people can eat with chopsticks.

Re:And for their next trick... (1)

Trouvist (958280) | more than 7 years ago | (#15219732)

They already do this. Except it just takes pictures periodically and stores them.

Re:And for their next trick... (1)

ozbird (127571) | more than 7 years ago | (#15220569)

They mention swallowing a diagnostic tool to see the insides of your stomach.

As the song goes: "I don't know why she swallowed the e-fly. Perhaps she'll die."

Re:And for their next trick... (1, Offtopic)

Bendejo (894944) | more than 7 years ago | (#15219243)

They already have those... thousands of them in fact, in Windows XP.

Re:And for their next trick... (5, Interesting)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 7 years ago | (#15219369)

When will they be getting around to the rest of the artificial insect?

In his book The Age of Spiritual Machines [amazon.com] , futurist Ray Kurzweil ventures that the transformation of humans from flesh-and-blood to total machine bodies will start with small augmentations like this, proceeding step by step until everything original is replaced.

Re:And for their next trick... (2, Interesting)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#15219530)

In his book The Age of Spiritual Machines , futurist Ray Kurzweil ventures that the transformation of humans from flesh-and-blood to total machine bodies will start with small augmentations like this, proceeding step by step until everything original is replaced.

That's pretty good, and natural. After all only then we'll be in power to control out own destiny. Of course I don't see the brain being replaced in the near 100-200 years, not just for technical, but also religious, political and moral reasons.

Re:And for their next trick... (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 7 years ago | (#15219609)

I'm pretty sure the only thing that would stop people using artificial brains would be technical limitations, as well as being scared that they won't really be them once they're copied.. and in effect, moving to an artificial brain would kill you, even if you then lived forever. That maybe comes under 'religious', but the fact remains that you would be dead, unless you could transfer your 'ghost' a lá GitS

Re:And for their next trick... (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#15219700)

I'm pretty sure the only thing that would stop people using artificial brains would be technical limitations, as well as being scared that they won't really be them once they're copied.. and in effect, moving to an artificial brain would kill you, even if you then lived forever. That maybe comes under 'religious', but the fact remains that you would be dead, unless you could transfer your 'ghost' a lá GitS

A brain is not a hard drive you can copy, i.e. the very structure of the device is the information and mechanism of the device - this is how our brains work.

Therefore you can't separate the brain into mechanism and data, which data can be copied.

What I really meant was not copying yourself into a PC brain, but augmenting and gradually replacing your brain with artificial extensions, or deciding to get a robo brain kid instead of one with a real brain :D and so on

Re:And for their next trick... (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 7 years ago | (#15220088)

yes, I addressed that in my other post, I know that the structure is the brain in the same way that cuts in silicon wafer make up a processor.

Re:And for their next trick... (1)

jamesh (87723) | more than 7 years ago | (#15219614)

Why not? A simple plastic one should suffice. It's not like most people use it.

It will be the people with religious, political, and moral objections that will be the first ones to have their brains replaced (or at least modified) anyway.

Re:And for their next trick... (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 7 years ago | (#15219611)

though, saying that, if you replaced the brain a piece at a time, then you would likely still be 'alive', and you would still be you.. you wouldnt have to cut off your own brain functions, just slowly replace them.. and you wouldnt notice the difference.. :s freaky .. guess to do it properly you'd have to have nanites replacing every neuron in your brain one at a time.. such a strange idea.. there isn't really any difference between a simulated and a real neuron, in function at least..

Tables Turn (4, Insightful)

d'alz (959455) | more than 7 years ago | (#15219166)

So we are competing with nature now. Very soon the blind will have a better option at vision and the rest of us will be scrambling in the dark. That would be a funny sight.

I'll be impressed (5, Funny)

Physician (861339) | more than 7 years ago | (#15219179)

I'll be impressed when they can transplant this eye into a poor blind insect.

Re:I'll be impressed (1)

bazald (886779) | more than 7 years ago | (#15219192)

If you would RTFA, you would realize that their goal is to create an innovative camera using a lens based on the design of an insect eye - not to help insects who have lost an eye...

Re:I'll be impressed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15219246)

If you would RTGPP, you would realize he was making a fucking joke.

Re:I'll be impressed (4, Funny)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 7 years ago | (#15219333)

Typical of those egoistical scientists. Always out to make a quick buck when they could do something useful helping out crippled insects. Bastards.

Re:I'll be impressed (5, Funny)

Bloke down the pub (861787) | more than 7 years ago | (#15219558)

Actually they tried that but the testing was rather difficult.

Doc: Can you read the top line on the chart?
Insect: Zzzzzzz.

Doc: Now the third line.
Insect: Zzzzzzz.

Doc: [Sigh] And the bottonm one, please.
Insect: Zzzzzzz.

Re:I'll be impressed (1)

dstewart (853530) | more than 7 years ago | (#15220588)

I must object to your use of the word "crippled" when referring to insects with disabilities. In the future, try to use "insect first" language, such as "Cricket who is visually impaired."

Re:I'll be impressed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15219565)

it'll probably be only the RICH insects that will get this technology.

Is it end of blindness? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15219183)

Relevant stories has been on slashdot before here [slashdot.org] and here [slashdot.org] where scientists have successfully developed artificial eyes and implanted.

The question, I want to ask is, is it still in research phase or professional services will start becoming available, when and how much it might cost?

There is pool of blind people in developing countries like India, China and so on. The inofrmation might be useful for them too.

[Posting anonymously to avoid karma whoring]

Re:Is it end of blindness? (2, Insightful)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#15219427)

The question, I want to ask is, is it still in research phase or professional services will start becoming available, when and how much it might cost?

The problem is all these are misleading. Articles about wiring cameras to the eye nerves, artificial eyes and so on are coming down the pipe for years now. I remember not less than 4 years ago articles about artificial eyes that can help blind people.

In most cases, the misleading sytarts right at the source, where for PR reasons the achievement is blown out of proportion for PR reasons, to justify the spent resources and time, and back them when they request more funds for continuing their research.

Frequently also the media tag on catchy "breaking news" titles to make their articles more interesting.

A recent example is for example the computerised machine guns that disarms rockets that get close to a tank.. That was "marketed" as a magical energy shield around tanks.. Comment withheld..

Re:Is it end of blindness? (1)

Thing 1 (178996) | more than 7 years ago | (#15219929)

[...] where for PR reasons the achievement is blown out of proportion for PR reasons [...]

And the PR people work in the Department of Redundancy Department?

Re:Is it end of blindness? (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#15220080)

And the PR people work in the Department of Redundancy Department?

Yes, however, I really wish the there are less grammar/sentence-flow nazys about my grammar and sentence flow really, however.

Re:Is it end of blindness? (1)

porl (932021) | more than 7 years ago | (#15220214)

Yes, however, I really wish the there are less grammar/sentence-flow nazys about my grammar and sentence flow really, however.

Usually I would agree. Sometimes however, as is the case here, they are a necessary evil. :)

X-Files warned us of this (3, Funny)

mitymidget (946765) | more than 7 years ago | (#15219209)

...They didn't create it, dosn't anyone watch X-Files, its a discover lead by the Aliens, who will use the new eye to further the artificial development of insects to carry Alien genetic material to form the super Alien race (we all know humans are the most suppiorer already, just not intelectual). Comming soon, nanite insects that "Repair" damaged organs or tissue...Yeah Repair

Re:X-Files warned us of this (1)

Ninjy (828167) | more than 7 years ago | (#15219437)

Comming soon, nanite insects that "Repair" damaged organs or tissue...Yeah Repair Please tell those aliens we've been doing this for thousands of years already.

Re:X-Files warned us of this (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 7 years ago | (#15219625)

As someone cleverly pointed out before on /. maybe we are those aliens ;) don't have to be too scared of someone else getting there first. It does also seem kind of ironic to spell superior as 'suppiorer', while claiming yourself to be superior. Someone may point out that it's not irony, but I'm not even sure what irony is anymore after people complaining that some things are just coincidences =p

Wow, imagine the possibilites... (2, Funny)

bepe86 (945139) | more than 7 years ago | (#15219217)

New viewing angle tecnique for movies - fly on the wall...

Re:Wow, imagine the possibilites... (1)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 7 years ago | (#15219341)

Indeed, porn cinematography should really benefit from this !

Re:Wow, imagine the possibilites... (1)

bepe86 (945139) | more than 7 years ago | (#15219407)

Exactly what I had in my mind, now you see exactly how real it seems when the plumber comes to "fix the piping"...

A Victory for Creation Science!!! (2, Funny)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 7 years ago | (#15219245)

SEEE! This PROVES the eye is so complex that it requires an Intelligent Designer! :P

Re:A Victory for Creation Science!!! (3, Insightful)

avasol (904335) | more than 7 years ago | (#15219560)

Ok so there's the Evolutionists, and the ID:ers, but other than Douglas Adams and myself, who else believes in the lesser known _Un-Intelligent (But Ambitious!) Designer_?

And that would explain the disappearance of the dinosaurs too. Ooops, fucked it up. Sowwy. We'll have to try again. Let's try Humans this time. Yes... Yes.. Excellent physical design, but brains too unevolved. Let Humans consume the Earth's resources disparately and divide their wealth unevenly until they realize the error of their ways. That should teach 'em! Next up, Vulcans.

See? Makes everything fit together neatly!

Re:A Victory for Creation Science!!! (1, Troll)

somersault (912633) | more than 7 years ago | (#15219640)

Nah, I'm sure they just found it in the bottom of a cupboard, where someone left a pile of batteries, microprocessors, motors, actuators, sensors and the like.. and they sorted themselves out naturally. Whoever left that pile there is the Creator though.

Re:A Victory for Creation Science!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15220101)

So, god is just a cientist and we all are just his cience project :P

Compounding the problem (2, Funny)

mrogers (85392) | more than 7 years ago | (#15219258)

It's comforting to know that our future robot masters will have terrifying, alien faces with which to express their terrifying, alien throught processes.

Re:Compounding the problem (1)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 7 years ago | (#15219474)

I would've thought that robot overlords would use something a bit more sophisticated and convenient - for example WLAN. Everyone just broadcasts their current mood etc. and the need for an optical information channel becomes nonexistant, at least as far as conversations are concerned.

I didn't say that it's be convenient for us... But for them it would be clearly superior to trying to determine one's thoughts by looking at the face.


Until someone sniffs out the connection and injects packets stating that the robot leaders' talks about the destruction of mankind are just a big joke and in reality he wants everone to go back to work.

Re:Compounding the problem (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 7 years ago | (#15219657)

as long as they have no physical interaction in the world, then we wont have much to fear from them, apart from having our credit revoked >_> everyone could just go back to working the land :p

The alien ideas of robot masters (1)

jdbartlett (941012) | more than 7 years ago | (#15220710)

The terrifying, alien thought processes of an IEEE 754 compliant Robot Master:

Mathematician: But I'm telling you, division by zero is impossible!
Robot Master: Does not compute. Division by zero equals infinity.
Mathematician: Then what about multiplying zero by infinity? Is that also infinity? No, it isn't, it's z-e-r-o!
Robot Master: Does not compute. Multiplication by infinity equals infinity.
Mathematician: Exactly! So division by zero is impossible!
Robot Master: Does not compute. Division by zero equals infinity. Multiplication of zero by infinity equals infinity.
Mathematician: How?! How is multiplication of zero by infinity infinity?!
Robot Master: Provide number of times you would need to carry out multiplication of any number by infinity to predict result.
Mathematician: Well... infinite times!
Robot Master: Therefore, zero multiplied by infinity equals infinity... ...etc. Surely this is the stuff nightmares are made of.

Surveilance! (4, Insightful)

putko (753330) | more than 7 years ago | (#15219292)

If you thought those fiber-optic based surveillance cams were bad, you'll hate these even more.

Yeah, this will find tons of apps in all sorts of useful places, but at a certain point, they'll be so cheap that you'll have to be afraid that people have hidden them somewhere, and that you are being watched.

This will be like camera phones, but squared and then cubed.

Re:Surveilance! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15219983)

I don't think this does what you think it does.

An insect's eye is incredibly low resolution. Good at sensing motion but crappy at reproducing full images.

A bit premature (5, Insightful)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 7 years ago | (#15219357)

According to TFA, "At the moment, the artificial eye is not connected to any kind of imaging device.".

I understand that whoever made this thing is eager to show it around but shouldn't they actually wait until they have something to show ?
It's becoming the norm nowadays to announce stuff that's only half done... I don't know if it's to satisfy investors or what but it sounds quite silly.

"look, we have this great insectile artificial eye !"

"impressive, what does it see ?"

"we don't know"

Well, duh.

Re:A bit premature (0, Offtopic)

joke_dst (832055) | more than 7 years ago | (#15219464)

On the other hand, if an article is posted here when the product is FINISHED, you'll get 100 posts saying "this was already reported on this place six months ago"... Articles on slashdot are a loose-loose situation :P

Re:A bit premature (1)

jamesh (87723) | more than 7 years ago | (#15219605)

If your mis-spelling of lose was intentional then very clever. If not, shame on you. shame. shame. shame.

Re:A bit premature (1)

Frozen Void (831218) | more than 7 years ago | (#15219926)

No,slashdotters just are pessimistic about technology and for good reasons.
TEchnology isn't always brings positive changes or even viable in most articles.
Ex:vaporware,AI,Robots,surveillance.
Such scepticism and hostility to ReInvented/rebranded technology make each "sensation" a subject of such jokes.The artificial insect eye thing is
revolutionary invention,though impact can't be judged immediatly.You'll
Feel it later,much later.Possibly when NSA builds fleets
of flying microCams armed with those eyes.

Re:A bit premature (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15219904)

I understand that whoever made this thing is eager to show it around but shouldn't they actually wait until they have something to show ? It's becoming the norm nowadays to announce stuff that's only half done... I don't know if it's to satisfy investors or what but it sounds quite silly.

I understand that everybody is not a scientist, so I'll try not to be as dismissive as the parent.

    The point of this article is not that researchers made an artifical eye -- as mentioned in other posts, other researchers have already done this. The reason why this article is interesting and was published by Science is that the researchers describe a method to mimic the structure of natural compound eyes without expensive microscale fabrication and manipulation. Instead of making thousands of waveguides (mini-fiber optics which direct the light to the "eventual" detector) and then having to meticulously align them to thousands of lenses, the researchers made the lenses first, and then used the lenses themselves to focus UV light onto a liquid polymer. Since polymer changes its optical properties when UV-cured, the focused light forms the waveguides with perfect alignment for thousands of lenses simultaneously. You can't demonstrate this concept with the data from a simple photodetector at the end of a wave guide, so in a sense, it would have been less interesting if they had just published the finished product rather than describe the concept they had developed. Furthermore, the authors suggest that it is likely that nature uses this sort of self-aligning method to fabricate its own structures.

Also, if you had read TFA, you would have seen that the original journal article was published in Science magazine by academic researchers -- not in Proceedings of IEEE or by defense contractors. Academic researchers in science don't wait for a finished product to publish because:

1) The point of science is to understand concepts, not build spying insects.
2) You would probably get scooped (beat) if you waited 10 years to publish.
3) No one would ever hire you or fund you without publications documenting your scientific progress
4) This research was done by graduate students or postdocs who have 2-6 years to publish enough to get a real job, compared to 10-20 years to go from raw concept to product.
5) Scientific research is based on building off of the research of others. Making a fully integrated artificial compound eye is really, really hard, and each step in understanding how a real eye works or how to make an artificial one requires a tremendous amount of work and insight. If everyone had to invent each of these steps independently, progress would be really slow. And the chances of one lab being lucky enough to stumble upon the right idea for each one of those steps *and* be good enough to build *and* manufacture a final product is essentially nil. So instead, people publish their "half done" findings because they are interesting and could help the entire community achieve its end goal.

Artificial insects: army of the future. (3, Informative)

master_p (608214) | more than 7 years ago | (#15219444)

Future wars will not be faught by giant robots or ultra-enhanced bionic soldiers or UAVs. They will be faught by fleets of artificial insects with collaborative AI.

Artificial insects are capable of a wide range of operations:

1) psyops: killing the important people of the opposing force (leaders, generals, scientists, etc) would be as easy as sending an insectoid armed with deadly poison. Undetectable, it can sting its victim while the victim is sleeping, or goes to the bathroom, or is in a public place surrounded by thousands of people.

2) blocking enemy forces: a swarm of insectoids can easily render whole armies inoperable in a blink of an eye: tanks, rocket launchers, comm centers can be rendered inoperable with few insectoids injecting the proper substances at the proper places.

3) invading a land by only killing humans, living infrastructure intact.

A swarm of insectoids can go undetected by radar, since insectoids can fly in small formations, and only joined at the destination.

Nanomachines can be used to create billions of one-time insectoids at very low cost.

Re:Artificial insects: army of the future. (1)

TropicalCoder (898500) | more than 7 years ago | (#15219741)

Future wars will not be faught by giant robots or ultra-enhanced bionic soldiers or UAVs. They will be faught by fleets of artificial insects with collaborative AI.

We will turn these out in our factories by the millions, dropping them over enemy territory by night. We will have "insects" that simply wait patiently, conserving their energy source, until an opportune moment to strike. Others will be capable of recharging themselves from readily available resources. Then an arms race will begin as we develop whole ecologies of these things to search out and destroy the enemy's artificial insects. Imagine the mess to clean up after a major war. The enormous problem caused left over land mines will pale in comparison. People will be swatting deadly "flies" for years after, if the flies don't get them in their sleep first. Vast tracts of territory will become uninhabitable. Hey - let's collaborate on a sci-fi thriller!

Re:Artificial insects: army of the future. (3, Funny)

Fear the Clam (230933) | more than 7 years ago | (#15219756)

The entire war will take place in the very same shoe box currently being used for a third-grade dinosaur diorama. A spokesman from Fox news says that they'll looking forward to providing embedbug coverage.

Re:Artificial insects: army of the future. (1)

w9ofa (68126) | more than 7 years ago | (#15219900)

Your army of robot insects will be useless against my army of robot ninjas.

Everyone knows that robot ninjas can detect and grab insects out of the air at will. They would then proceed to eat them to gain more fuel in order to dominate you.
   

Been there. Done that. (2, Informative)

elFisico (877213) | more than 7 years ago | (#15219468)

Seems german scientists beat those US scientists to it. The team from the Fraunhofer Institute received a german research award for creating an artificial insect eye over a year ago.

Find more technical infos here [tu-ilmenau.de] (sorry, german only).

Re:Been there. Done that. (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 7 years ago | (#15219735)

Looks like the authors of the article in Science replied to your criticism already.

See [slashdot.org] what they say in regards to previous work in reference 8.

Reference 8: J. Duparre, P. Dannberg, P. Schreiber, A. Brauer, A. Tunnermann, Appl. Opt. 44, 2949 (2005).

Dump the sci-fi (3, Insightful)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#15219483)

Why is it that 99% of those articles try to be done with the boring facts as fast as possible and dive into the exciting world of "this may/can/will be used for [INSERT SOMETHING FROM A MOVIE OR SOMETHING THAT SOUNDS REALLY IMPORTANT]" speculation.

So if a new sort of "no unpopped kernels" popcorns was disovered, we'll have to read how this will lead to us flying to distant galaxies and finding the purpose of existence.

Re:Dump the sci-fi (1)

thePig (964303) | more than 7 years ago | (#15220308)

Not quite.
See, in the case of people discovering some new phenomenon, or some amazing new theorem, yes, your point is very valid.

But in case of inventions (or rather tools, as is the case here), if the scientists are doing it at all, they will be doing it with some future goals in mind.
Otherwise, why would they even go ahead doing it?

These guys would have thought of all the amazing future possibilities that is possible with such inventions, and there is nothing bad in telling them to the public also.

Re:Dump the sci-fi (3, Insightful)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#15220828)

But in case of inventions (or rather tools, as is the case here), if the scientists are doing it at all, they will be doing it with some future goals in mind.

Correct, but the articles lead many people (see grand-grandparent) to believe the invention is working and the practical implementation is about to happen, which is totally misleading.

What we get is very small and (in the big picture) insignificant steps to solve the puzzle of bringing an invention in working state to the market, but we get breaking news that we're about to get flying cars every other week.

People get tired, and start becoming suspicious. Is this what we want.

The Summary (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15219510)

That summary, was very well written.

see no evile? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15219551)

we don't need any stinkin' barrel of dead monkIEs to realize the direction that the winds of change are blowing at gale force.

for many of US, the only way out is up.

don't forget, for each of the creators' innocents harmed (in any way) there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/US as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile will not be available after the big flash occurs.

'vote' with (what's left in) yOUR wallet. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi life0cidal glowbull warmongering execrable.

some of US should consider ourselves very fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate.

it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc....

as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis.

concern about the course of events that will occur should the corepirate nazi life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order.

'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

text of abstract from Science (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 7 years ago | (#15219654)

Biologically Inspired Artificial Compound Eyes [sciencemag.org]
Ki-Hun Jeong, Jaeyoun Kim, Luke P. Lee*

This work presents the fabrication of biologically inspired artificial compound eyes. The artificial ommatidium, like that of an insect's compound eyes, consists of a refractive polymer microlens, a light-guiding polymer cone, and a self-aligned waveguide to collect light with a small angular acceptance. The ommatidia are omnidirectionally arranged along a hemispherical polymer dome such that they provide a wide field of view similar to that of a natural compound eye. The spherical configuration of the microlenses is accomplished by reconfigurable microtemplating, that is, polymer replication using the deformed elastomer membrane with microlens patterns. The formation of polymer waveguides self-aligned with microlenses is also realized by a self-writing process in a photosensitive polymer resin. The angular acceptance is directly measured by three-dimensional optical sectioning with a confocal microscope, and the detailed optical characteristics are studied in comparison with a natural compound eye.


smallprint: bold is mine.

I am not sure if this article is a free access one, but the abstract should be seen by everyone.

Note how "biologically inspired" turned into "artificial insect" in BBC article. Surely, journalists are more successful in creating artefacts than scientists.

PS. On a side note though: pretty amazing!

why do we need those:more from the TSA (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 7 years ago | (#15219702)


Artificial implementation of compound eyes has attracted a great deal of research interest, because the wide FOV exhibits a huge potential for medical, industrial, and military applications. So far, imaging with a FOV over 90 has been achieved only with fish eye lenses, which rely on bulky and expensive multiple lenses and require stringent alignment. The use of miniaturized, arrayed optical components fabricated by using semiconductor planar processing technologies has been proposed to simultaneously mimic the structure and function of an individual ommatidium and the large-scale collection of ommatidia. The imaging systems using microlens arrays (7, 8) or graded index rod arrays (9, 10) in combination with matching pinhole arrays are good examples. More biomimetic efforts to implement artificial compound eyes were reviewed in (11) along with an outline of biological imaging systems. Achieving a wide FOV in those structures, however, has been hindered mainly by the inherent flatness of the arrayed optical components. In addition, the need to align multiple layers of arrayed components during assembly of the above-mentioned imaging systems gives them no advantage over fish eye lenses. For practical implementations of compound eyes with wide FOV, the requirement of curvature-compatible, self-aligned fabrications schemes is evident.

off topic question (0, Offtopic)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 7 years ago | (#15219669)

Why do you need tag "science", if the post is already published under science.slashdot.org?

Tags are silly. I have seen a tag "stupid" on one of the previous posts. That will definitely help in search. I can see someone rubbing his hands against each other, saying: "Ok, now time to rest from moderating digg and find some "stupid" articles in Slashdot...".

Non-native speaker bug? (0, Offtopic)

ottffssent (18387) | more than 7 years ago | (#15219795)

The summary has two extra commas. The first is just after a noun phrase; the second is just before one.

I've been taking Spanish for quite a while, and recognize common English errors that native speakers of Spanish make, but I'm curious about the comma overuse in the summary here. I have come across this particular error quite a bit lately, and I'm curious whether it's common to native speakers of a particular language.

I know this is seriously OT, but I don't know of any linguist blogs, so can someone help me out here? Thanks!

Re:Non-native speaker bug? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15219966)

There shouldn't be a comma in the second sentence: "The dimpled eye contains over 8,500 [snip]"

I'm assuming the other one you referenced is at the end of sentence five "[snip] compex, visual systems." That one's okay, because it describes systems that are both complex and visual. I would argue, however, that it should be "vision," not "visual."

Blorp (1)

kurbchekt (890891) | more than 7 years ago | (#15219958)

"Even though insects start with just a single cell, they grow and create this beautiful optical system by themselves," said Professor Luke Lee, one of the authors on the paper.

So, did I, but you don't here me bragging about it!

Oh wait... I just did...

This is just wonderful ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15220174)

Great. Now they will implant them into insects that lost their eyesight because they kept playing with sharp sticks. What will they come up with next? Free education for microbes?

We hire insects (1)

mipoe (971521) | more than 7 years ago | (#15220326)

... how insects developed such complex, visual systems ... The best workers for the development of new digicams?
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