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Artificial bee eye gives insight into insects’ visual world

Date:
August 6, 2010
Source:
Institute of Physics
Summary:
Despite their tiny brains, bees have remarkable navigation capabilities based on their vision. Now scientists have recreated a light-weight imaging system mimicking a honeybee's field of view, which could change the way we build mobile robots and small flying vehicles.

Bee eye view.
Credit: Image courtesy of Institute of Physics

Despite their tiny brains, bees have remarkable navigation capabilities based on their vision. Now scientists have recreated a light-weight imaging system mimicking a honeybee's field of view, which could change the way we build mobile robots and small flying vehicles.

New research published Aug. 6 in IOP Publishing's Bioinspiration & Biomimetics, describes how the researchers from the Center of Excellence 'Cognitive Interaction Technology' at Bielefeld University, Germany, have built an artificial bee eye, complete with fully functional camera, to shed light on the insects' complex sensing, processing and navigational skills.

Consisting of a light-weight mirror-lens combination attached to a USB video camera, the artificial eye manages to achieve a field of vision comparable to that of a bee. In combining a curved reflective surface that is built into acrylic glass with lenses covering the frontal field, the bee eye camera has allowed the researchers to take unique images showing the world from an insect's viewpoint.

In the future, the researchers hope to include UV to fully reflect a bee's colour vision, which is important to honeybees for flower recognition and discrimination and also polarisation vision, which bees use for orientation. They also hope to incorporate models of the subsequent neural processing stages.

As the researchers write, "Despite the discussed limitations of our model of the spatial resolution of the honeybees compound eyes, we are confident that it is useful for many purposes, e.g. for the simulation of bee-like agents in virtual environments and, in combination with presented imaging system, for testing bee-inspired visual navigation strategies on mobile robots."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. W Stόrzl et al. Mimicking Honeybee Eyes with a 280◦ FOV Catadioptric Imaging System. Bioinspiration & Biomimetics, 2010; [link]

Cite This Page:

Institute of Physics. "Artificial bee eye gives insight into insects’ visual world." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 August 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100805203343.htm>.
Institute of Physics. (2010, August 6). Artificial bee eye gives insight into insects’ visual world. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100805203343.htm
Institute of Physics. "Artificial bee eye gives insight into insects’ visual world." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100805203343.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

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