Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Why can we see what our cameras can't?

30.08.2006
Video cameras learn from insect eyes

The bane of all wedding videos; that picture of the bride in front of the window where her face is so dark that you can't see the features may soon be a thing of the past.

By mimicking how insects see, an Adelaide researcher can now produce digital videos in which you can see every detail. The technique solves a critical problem for surveillance cameras, where the clarity of images is everything.

When it comes to seeing, says Dr Russell Brinkworth, a post doctoral research fellow at the University of Adelaide, even a tiny insect brain can outperform any current artificial system. As we can, they can see detail in light and dark at the same time.

Traditional cameras use a single average light setting to control the brightness of an image. This is fine, says Dr Brinkworth, if there are similar levels of lighting over your whole scene. But it's not so good if some parts are much brighter than others.

In nature, the individual cells of the eye adjust to a part of the image independently in order to capture the maximum amount of information about the scene. This means that even in difficult lighting conditions, such as a person standing in front of a window, you can see both the person's face and the scenery outside at the same time, something a traditional camera cannot do.

By recording from cells in the brains of insects Dr Brinkworth and his colleagues have shown it is possible to determine exactly how animal eyes work, and to reproduce the process using computer software and hardware.

It's a fundamentally new way of thinking about vision technology, he says. Our, and insect eyes are designed to detect movement. In fact we can't actually see anything that's stationary relative to our eyes. The image in our mind is created by movement - the movement of our bodies, flickering of our eyes.

By learning from the insect world we will be able to create video cameras that can: resolve detail in light and dark; detect moving objects; rapidly compress and transmit video at incredible speed; and detect and measure the speed of very small objects moving in the distance.

Dr Brinkworth's software can already enhance existing video footage.

What we want to do, he says, is to wire this into existing camera sensor technology. Our software would be written to a computer chip that would sit between the sensor and the digital converter.

He is keeping the specifics of the technology close to his chest until a commercial partner is signed up. But the team has already received support from the United States Air Force.

Russell Brinkworth is one of 16 young scientists presenting their research to the public for the first time thanks to Fresh Science, a national program sponsored by the Federal and Victorian Governments. One of the Fresh Scientists will win a trip to the UK courtesy of British Council Australia to present his or her work at the Royal Institution.

Niall Byrne | alfa
Further information:
http://www.scienceinpublic.com/sciencenow/2006/russell.htm

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Drones that drive
27.06.2017 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology, CSAIL

nachricht Ahead of the Curve
27.06.2017 | Institute of Science and Technology Austria

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Touch Displays WAY-AX and WAY-DX by WayCon

27.06.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Drones that drive

27.06.2017 | Information Technology

Ultra-compact phase modulators based on graphene plasmons

27.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>