Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Nocturnal vision of insects inspires automakers to develop improved night cameras

08.01.2010
The ability of animals to see in the dark has led biology professor Eric Warrant at Lund University in Sweden to an exciting collaboration with the automaker Toyota.

The collaborative project aims to develop a new type of colour camera that in the future will help people drive cars more safely when it's dark outside. The mathematics researcher Henrik Malm from Lund University has directed the mathematical work.

A few years ago, when the automaker Toyota wanted to find new ways to develop certain safety features in their car models, they started to investigate the field of bio-mimetics, or bio-inspiration, as it is also called. Bio-inspiration is about constructing technological solutions using Nature as a model, that is, imitating solutions that Nature has itself invented with the help of the laws of evolution. This is how Toyota came into contact with Professor Eric Warrant's research on nocturnally active insects.

"For instance, there's a lot to be learned from nocturnally active dung beetles that live in cow dung," says Eric Warrant.

Eric Warrant and his colleagues at the Department of Biology, Lund University, are pursuing world-leading vision research. For some 25 years, Eric Warrant has been interested in the function of eyes in various animal species, especially in terms of seeing in the dark. Among other species, he has studied nocturnally active beetles, bees, and moths.

Beetles, bees, and moths have compound eyes with multiple lenses that work together to create a single image in the animal's eye. The light-sensitive cells in the retinas of these eyes have a capacity to exploit light even in situations where the light is weak. When night falls, the light-sensitive cells start to cooperate in a way that renders the function of the retina flexible. For example, at any given moment a certain part of the retina may register the details of a flower while other parts of the same retina may simultaneously monitor the terrain for any movements in the darkness.

Together with mathematicians Henrik Malm and Magnus Oskarsson from Lund University and engineers from Toyota, Eric Warrant has now converted the remarkable night vision of insects into mathematical algorithms that serve as a basis for digital image creation in an entirely new type of night camera.

"The algorithms we devised imitate the eye's method for enhancing visual perception in dim light," says Henrik Malm, who directed the mathematical work.

The night colour camera is now being tested at Toyota's developmental facility in Brussels. The Lund researchers' projects and their collaboration with Toyota is featured in the next issue of the international journal New Scientist.

For more information, please contact:
Eric Warrant, professor at the Department of Biology, Lund University
Eric.Warrant@cob.lu.se, tel +61 (0)429 470693 (can be reached 08.00-12.00 noon Central European Time)
Henrik Malm, mathematics researcher, Lund University
Henrik.Malm@cob.lu.se, tel +46 (0)46-2229340, cell +46 (0)70-4567673
Magnus Oskarsson, senior lecturer in mathematics, Lund University
Magnus.Oskarsson@math.lth.se, tel +46 (0)46-2228538
Information officer Lena Björk Blixt; Lena.Bjork_Blixt@kanslin.lu.se;
+46 46 222 71 86

Lena Björk Blixt | idw
Further information:
http://www.vr.se

More articles from Automotive Engineering:

nachricht 3D scans for the automotive industry
16.01.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht Improvement of the operating range and increasing of the reliability of integrated circuits
09.11.2016 | Technologie Lizenz-Büro (TLB) der Baden-Württembergischen Hochschulen GmbH

All articles from Automotive Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Microhotplates for a smart gas sensor

22.02.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Scientists unlock ability to generate new sensory hair cells

22.02.2017 | Life Sciences

Prediction: More gas-giants will be found orbiting Sun-like stars

22.02.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>