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
Cutting edge research for the industries of tomorrow – DFKI and NICT expand cooperation
21.03.2017 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI
Molecular motor-powered biocomputers
20.03.2017 | Technische Universität Dresden
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy