Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Artist's inspiration: How robot soccer led to a mathematician's mirror that reflects your true face

Date:
November 16, 2012
Source:
Drexel University
Summary:
When you look in a mirror, you see an image of yourself in reverse. But one odd mirror invented by a mathematics professor shows your true face without reversing its image.

R. Andrew Hicks as seen in a self-portrait photo taken in the non-reversing mirror he invented.
Credit: R. Andrew Hicks

When you look in a mirror, you see an image of yourself in reverse. But one odd mirror invented by mathematics professor Dr. R. Andrew Hicks at Drexel University shows your true face without reversing its image. That mirror is now on display as part of an art exhibition in New York City's Room East gallery by artist Robin Cameron, through December 9.

Related Articles


Hicks's unusual mirrors gained national attention in summer of 2012 when one of those inventions, a driver's side mirror that eliminates the blind spot with minimal distortion, received a U.S. Patent.

Other novelty mirrors show a non-reversed image to a viewer by placing two mirrors at right angles, so that looking at the glass shows a simple reflection of the reflection. Hicks's non-reversing mirror is different, in that it is a single, smooth curved piece of glass that shows a non-reversed image.

Cameron found inspiration in Hicks's story when she discovered it through online research. Hicks and Drexel subsequently loaned her the non-reversing mirror for use in her group of artworks entitled "P-R-O-C-E-S-S-E-S."

"The mirror specifically relates to this particular grouping of work because it is about process. I wanted to know more about what leads someone to make a non-reversing mirror," Cameron said.

Hicks became an inventor of mirrors via a background in hobbyist electronics tinkering, formal education in mathematics and postdoctoral work in computer science, before continuing the work as a professor in Drexel's College of Arts and Sciences. Hicks began mathematical manipulations of reflective surfaces when developing vision control mechanisms for soccer-playing robots, using curved mirrors atop the robots' heads to give a 360-degree view. He developed computer algorithms to subtly manipulate the angles of curved mirror surfaces so that distortions in the reflection are precisely controlled. The precise manipulations change the directions light rays are reflected off of the surface in a manner analogous to changing the angles of millions of tiny facets on a flattened disco ball, but decreasing the size of each facet until a smooth surface results.

"I see some similarities to the work that I do and the work that Andrew does, in terms of following what interests you and creating something new." Cameron said.

Beyond its value as an object of art, Hicks considers the non-reversing mirror an interesting novelty and is still looking for practical applications. "I always thought it would make a great toy," Hicks said.

The mirror is popular when he shows it at talks and in classes. "People often think that such a thing should be impossible, and they want to hold it and look at it from different angles," he said. "It's sort of as if some object from an M.C. Escher print existed in the real world."


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Drexel University. "Artist's inspiration: How robot soccer led to a mathematician's mirror that reflects your true face." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121116124345.htm>.
Drexel University. (2012, November 16). Artist's inspiration: How robot soccer led to a mathematician's mirror that reflects your true face. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121116124345.htm
Drexel University. "Artist's inspiration: How robot soccer led to a mathematician's mirror that reflects your true face." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121116124345.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
NSA Director: China Can Damage US Power Grid

NSA Director: China Can Damage US Power Grid

AP (Nov. 20, 2014) China and "one or two" other countries are capable of mounting cyberattacks that would shut down the electric grid and other critical systems in parts of the United States, according to Adm. Michael Rogers, director of the National Security Agency and hea Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Latest Minivan Crash Tests Aren't Pretty

Latest Minivan Crash Tests Aren't Pretty

Newsy (Nov. 20, 2014) Five minivans were put to the test in head-on crash simulations by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Video provided by Newsy
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