CURVACE is a curved artificial compound eye that allows for rapid and accurate motion detection over a large area.

Benefits

  • Improved motion detection
  • Increased visibility over a wider field of view

Applications

  • Robotics
  • Cameras

UN Sustainable Development Goals Addressed

  • Goal 9: Industry Innovation & Infrastructure

The Challenge

Artificial compound eyes are beneficial for robotics and other applications that require a camera-like apparatus. However, creating an artificial eye is difficult because it requires aligning different photoreceptive and optical components onto a curved surface.

Innovation Details

CURVACE (Curved Artificial Compound Eye) was inspired by the eyes of fruit flies. It consists of three planar layers of separately produced arrays: a microlens, a neuromorphic photodetector, and a flexible printed circuit board. These three layers are stacked, cut, and curved to produce a mechanically flexible imager. This produces a panoramic, undistorted field of view with embedded and programmable low-power signal processing, high temporal resolution, and local to illumination in a very thin package.

Image: Curvace / Copyright © - All rights reserved

Curved Artificial Compound Eye. (A) Image of the CURVACE prototype. The entire device occupies a volume of 2.2 cm3, weighs 1.75 g, and consumes 0.9 W at maximum power. (B) Illustration of the panoramic field of view (FOV) of the fabricated prototype. The dots and circles represent the angular orientation and acceptance angle of every ommatidium, respectively.

video thumbnail

Biomimicry Story

Insects have compound eyes that consist of a curved array of micro-lenses, each conveying photons to a separate set of one or more photoreceptors. Although it has lower resolution compared to vertebrate eyes, compound eyes are efficient for motion detection over a large field of view, making it an excellent sensor for accurate and fast navigation in 3D dynamic environments.