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Aug 13, 2022

Bug eyes and bat sonar: Bioengineers turn to animal kingdom for creation of bionic super 3D cameras

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, cyborgs, robotics/AI, transhumanism

A pair of UCLA bioengineers and a former postdoctoral scholar have developed a new class of bionic 3D camera systems that can mimic flies’ multiview vision and bats’ natural sonar sensing, resulting in multidimensional imaging with extraordinary depth range that can also scan through blind spots.

Powered by computational image processing, the camera can decipher the size and shape of objects hidden around corners or behind other items. The technology could be incorporated into autonomous vehicles or medical imaging tools with sensing capabilities far beyond what is considered state of the art today. This research has been published in Nature Communications.

In the dark, bats can visualize a vibrant picture of their surroundings by using a form of echolocation, or sonar. Their high-frequency squeaks bounce off their surroundings and are picked back up by their ears. The minuscule differences in how long it takes for the echo to reach the nocturnal animals and the intensity of the sound tell them in real time where things are, what’s in the way and the proximity of potential prey.

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