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


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


  • 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.

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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.