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.

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 July 31, 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 July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

AP (July 30, 2014) A ruptured 93-year-old water main left the UCLA campus awash in 8 million gallons of water in the middle of California's worst drought in decades. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow

Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow

AP (July 30, 2014) Smartphone powered paper airplane that was popular on crowdfunding website KickStarter makes its debut at Wisconsin airshow (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.K. To Allow Driverless Cars On Public Roads

U.K. To Allow Driverless Cars On Public Roads

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Driverless cars could soon become a staple on U.K. city streets, as they're set to be introduced to a few cities in 2015. 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:
from the past week

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