Researchers from MIT, the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST), and Seoul National University in Korea have developed a fiddler crab-inspired artificial vision system capable of seeing on both land and in water. What makes the fiddler crab so special is its amphibious imaging ability and an extremely wide field of view.



This novel artificial eye basically resembles a spherical ball and makes meaning of its inputs through a combination of materials that process as well as understand light. More specifically, an array of flat microlenses with a graded refractive index profile, along with a flexible photodiode array sporting comb-shaped patterns, all wrapped on the 3D spherical structure. This setup enables light rays from multiple sources to always converge at the same spot on the image sensor, regardless of the refractive index of its surroundings. During early tests, the team was able to observe consistent image quality and nearly a 360° field of view in both terrestrial as well as aquatic environments. Since we’re on the topic of crabs, have you ever seen a Japanese spider crab molting its shell?

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Razer Anzu Smart Glasses: Blue Light Filtering & Polarized Sunglass Lenses - Low Latency Audio - Built-in Mic & Speakers - Touch & Voice Assistant Compatible - 5hrs Battery - Rectangle/Large
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Razer Anzu Smart Glasses: Blue Light Filtering & Polarized Sunglass Lenses - Low Latency Audio - Built-in Mic & Speakers - Touch & Voice Assistant Compatible - 5hrs Battery - Rectangle/Large
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This is a spectacular piece of optical engineering and non-planar imaging, combining aspects of bio-inspired design and advanced flexible electronics to achieve unique capabilities unavailable in conventional cameras. Potential uses span from population surveillance to environmental monitoring,” said John A. Rogers, the Louis Simpson and Kimberly Querrey Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Northwestern University.