Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Nocturnal vision of insects inspires automakers to develop improved night cameras

Date:
January 19, 2010
Source:
Expertanswer
Summary:
The ability of animals to see in the dark has led to a collaborative project aimed at developing a new type of color camera that could help people drive cars more safely at night.

Eyes in the dark. Close up of the nocturnally active bee Megalopta, with its night vision eyes.
Credit: Rita Wallιn

The ability of animals to see in the dark has led biology professor Eric Warrant at Lund University in Sweden to a collaboration with the automaker Toyota. The collaborative project is aimed at developing a new type of colour camera that in the future will help people drive cars more safely at night.

Related Articles


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.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Expertanswer. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Expertanswer. "Nocturnal vision of insects inspires automakers to develop improved night cameras." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 January 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100108093817.htm>.
Expertanswer. (2010, January 19). Nocturnal vision of insects inspires automakers to develop improved night cameras. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100108093817.htm
Expertanswer. "Nocturnal vision of insects inspires automakers to develop improved night cameras." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100108093817.htm (accessed November 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Toyota's Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Green Car Soon Available in the US

Toyota's Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Green Car Soon Available in the US

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) — Toyota presented its hydrogen fuel-cell compact car called "Mirai" to US consumers at the Los Angeles auto show. The car should go on sale in 2015 for around $60.000. It combines stored hydrogen with oxygen to generate its own power. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google Announces Improvements To Balloon-Borne Wi-Fi Project

Google Announces Improvements To Balloon-Borne Wi-Fi Project

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — In a blog post, Google said its balloons have traveled 3 million kilometers since the start of Project Loon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Paralyzed Marine Walks With Robotic Braces

Raw: Paralyzed Marine Walks With Robotic Braces

AP (Nov. 21, 2014) — Marine Corps officials say a special operations officer left paralyzed by a sniper's bullet in Afghanistan walked using robotic leg braces in a ceremony to award him a Bronze Star. (Nov. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
British 'Bio-Bus' Is Powered By Human Waste

British 'Bio-Bus' Is Powered By Human Waste

Buzz60 (Nov. 21, 2014) — British company GENeco debuted what its calling the Bio-Bus, a bus fueled entirely by biomethane gas produced from food scraps and sewage. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins