Monday, August 9, 2010

Artificial bee eye

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Did you know how bees navigate ? Bees can fly in a particular constant direction.They can track the way back to beehive by sensing the polarization of sunlight(Which we cant see) and orient themselves by the pattern it forms in a blue sky,....!!!

Bee eye view

Just imagine how well developed would their eye have been to sense the polarization of sunlight..!!
Did you know bees posses 5 eyes..??!! And they have got some special photoreceptors embedded in their eyes and the arrray of these photoreceptors areused by the bees to scan and map the polarization patterns in the sky.Also it is interesting to know that bees can perceive movements that are separated by 1/300th of a second..where as humans can only sense movements separated by 1/50th of a second.If a bee enters a cinema hall, it can differentiate individual movie frame bein projected....!!!

Now researchers from the Center of Excellence 'Cognitive Interaction Technology' at Bielefield University Germany have succeeded in recreating an imaging system, which mimics the vision of a bee...!!

This artificial bee eye consists of
a light-weight mirror-lens combination attached to a USB Video camera.Using a combination of a curved reflective surface that is built into acrylic glass (Poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) its a transparent thermoplastic) with lenses covering the frontal field in the bee eye camera, the researchers are able to take some unique images showing us the world in a bee's point of view.

In the future the researchers have thoughts of including UV (Ultra Violet), so that they can simulate the colour sensing capabilities of the bee and even the polarization sensing.

This artificial bee eye is expected to be useful for many purposes such as
the simulation of bee-like agents in virtual environments and, in combination with presented imaging system, for testing bee-inspired visual navigation strategies on mobile robots.

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