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Bee Anatomy Is Ideal Model for Micro Air Vehicles

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A bee’s biological structure has been determined perfectly evolved for high-speed navigation and maneuvering posing as a perfect example to imitate for miniature robotic aircrafts. In the past, bio-mimicry has helped scientists derive similar designs and concepts from nature’s creations to help with technological advances in robotics. Now, the focus has been on perfecting vision capabilities in the mobile robots

A bee’s rapid motion detection has triggered the idea to copy the eye of a bee to use in micro air vehicles. The artificial bee eye is capable of a 280-degree field of view providing the vehicles with maximized wide-angle view. A single camera using only lenses and mirrors will provide 25 frames per second in a fisheye view.

“In their set-up, a dome-shaped mirror, with a lens at its centre, was placed 20 millimeters in front of the camera’s charge-coupled device (CCD) image sensor chip, with its convex surface facing towards the camera. The lens focuses light from in front of the camera onto the CCD to create an image with a 110-degree field of view. At the same time, the convex face of the mirror captures a reflection of the world behind the camera and focuses this light onto the CCD, widening the field of view to 280 degrees.”

Eventually, scientists hope to include UV to reflect the color vision and polarization vision to assist with orientation. They also hope to incorporate models of the subsequent neural processing stages.

These advances are providing hope that micro air vehicles will have more functionality without adding more weight.

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