Scientists are developing a new type of self-driving cars with camera inspired of mantis shrimpsâ€™ eyes to gauge its surrounding.
Researchers the University of Illinois have designed a unique camera for autonomous vehicles. They claim that the innovative camera that is inspired by the eyes of mantis shrimps, is capable to detect polarized light, or light waves vibrating on a single plane. It is equipped with almost 50,000 sensors, where each sensors is capable to capture a wide range of light and dark spots within a single frame, akin to mantis shrimps mannerism of viewing.
Viktor Gruev, a bioengineer at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and co-author of the study, says, â€œthe researchers wanted to â€œmimic the animalsâ€™ ability to detect a wide range of light intensities, the crustaceansâ€™ visual system allows them to see both light and dark areas while moving in and out of dark crevices in shallow waters.â€
The new developed camera has a capacity to detect a wider range of light intensities compered to regular digital or polarization cameras. It can be operated within a 140 decibels range, whereas the best polarization cameras operated with a dynamic range of about 60 decibels only. This enables the new camera to provide a wide and clear range of view.
The self-driving vehicle or autonomous vehicle works on various technologies mixed together. For instance, it uses light detection and ranging equipment, cameras, and GPS to map the world. However, the camera still needs to be upgraded as it is unable to capture sharp lightning transitions and does not operate in foggy weather.
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