Digital cameras with designs inspired by the arthropod eye

Young Min Song, Yizhu Xie, Viktor Malyarchuk, Jianliang Xiao, Inhwa Jung, Ki Joong Choi, Zhuangjian Liu, Hyunsung Park, Chaofeng Lu, Rak Hwan Kim, Rui Li, Kenneth B. Crozier, Yonggang Huang, John A. Rogers*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

527 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In arthropods, evolution has created a remarkably sophisticated class of imaging systems, with a wide-angle field of view, low aberrations, high acuity to motion and an infinite depth of field. A challenge in building digital cameras with the hemispherical, compound apposition layouts of arthropod eyes is that essential design requirements cannot be met with existing planar sensor technologies or conventional optics. Here we present materials, mechanics and integration schemes that afford scalable pathways to working, arthropod-inspired cameras with nearly full hemispherical shapes (about 160 degrees). Their surfaces are densely populated by imaging elements (artificial ommatidia), which are comparable in number (180) to those of the eyes of fire ants (Solenopsis fugax) and bark beetles (Hylastes nigrinus). The devices combine elastomeric compound optical elements with deformable arrays of thin silicon photodetectors into integrated sheets that can be elastically transformed from the planar geometries in which they are fabricated to hemispherical shapes for integration into apposition cameras. Our imaging results and quantitative ray-tracing-based simulations illustrate key features of operation. These general strategies seem to be applicable to other compound eye devices, such as those inspired by moths and lacewings (refracting superposition eyes), lobster and shrimp (reflecting superposition eyes), and houseflies (neural superposition eyes).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-99
Number of pages5
JournalNature
Volume497
Issue number7447
DOIs
StatePublished - May 13 2013

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Arthropods
Houseflies
Equipment and Supplies
Ants
Moths
Beetles
Silicon
Mechanics
Technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

Song, Y. M., Xie, Y., Malyarchuk, V., Xiao, J., Jung, I., Choi, K. J., ... Rogers, J. A. (2013). Digital cameras with designs inspired by the arthropod eye. Nature, 497(7447), 95-99. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature12083
Song, Young Min ; Xie, Yizhu ; Malyarchuk, Viktor ; Xiao, Jianliang ; Jung, Inhwa ; Choi, Ki Joong ; Liu, Zhuangjian ; Park, Hyunsung ; Lu, Chaofeng ; Kim, Rak Hwan ; Li, Rui ; Crozier, Kenneth B. ; Huang, Yonggang ; Rogers, John A. / Digital cameras with designs inspired by the arthropod eye. In: Nature. 2013 ; Vol. 497, No. 7447. pp. 95-99.
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Song, YM, Xie, Y, Malyarchuk, V, Xiao, J, Jung, I, Choi, KJ, Liu, Z, Park, H, Lu, C, Kim, RH, Li, R, Crozier, KB, Huang, Y & Rogers, JA 2013, 'Digital cameras with designs inspired by the arthropod eye', Nature, vol. 497, no. 7447, pp. 95-99. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature12083

Digital cameras with designs inspired by the arthropod eye. / Song, Young Min; Xie, Yizhu; Malyarchuk, Viktor; Xiao, Jianliang; Jung, Inhwa; Choi, Ki Joong; Liu, Zhuangjian; Park, Hyunsung; Lu, Chaofeng; Kim, Rak Hwan; Li, Rui; Crozier, Kenneth B.; Huang, Yonggang; Rogers, John A.

In: Nature, Vol. 497, No. 7447, 13.05.2013, p. 95-99.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Song YM, Xie Y, Malyarchuk V, Xiao J, Jung I, Choi KJ et al. Digital cameras with designs inspired by the arthropod eye. Nature. 2013 May 13;497(7447):95-99. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature12083