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The new efficient depth sensor is inspired by the eyes of a spider



The depth sensor is used on smartphones for features like face unlock. This works by using thousands of laser points to map facial details, which require a fast processor and a large battery to do a lot of calculations. Researchers are looking for ways to perform similar functions but in small devices with limited battery life, such as smart watches or microrobots.

To find a more efficient way to measure depth, they turned to spiders for inspiration. Unlike humans, where each eye captures slightly different images and the two are compared to measure depth, jumping spiders require very accurate depth perception even though their brains are small. So they have a retinal layer in each eye that captures images with varying degrees of blur. An object will appear blurry in one eye and sharp in the other eye, which allows efficient depth calculation.

Jumping spider "data-caption =" Jumping spider "data-credit =" Harvard; Video owned by Paul Shamble, Tsevi Beatus, Itai Cohen and Ron Hoy "data-credit-link-back =" "data provider dam =" "data-local-id =" local-1-6857758-1572340942701 "data-media-id = "a46ea57f-7272-4d13-96cc-7640e164605d" data-original-url = "https://s.yimg.com/os/creatr-uploaded-images/2019-10/83da60b0-fa2d-11e9- 8dd3-2f03894fdc5bb "data-title =" Jumping spider "src =" https://o.aolcdn.com/images/dims?resize=2000%2C2000%2Cshrink&image_uri=https%3A%2F%2Fs.yimg.com%2Fos% 2Fcreatr- upload-picture% 2F2019-10% 2F83da60b0-fa2d-11e9-8dd3-2f03894fdc5b & client = a1acac3e1b3290917d92 & signature = 05091f44d9752e21619bdcae9f13d0f94c></center></p><p>To replicate the ability of a spider in a sensor, scientists are using a new type of lens called metalens that can produce two images with different levels of blur at the same time. "Instead of using a layered retina to capture multiple simultaneous images, such as jumping spiders, metalens divide light and form two images that do not focus side by side on photosensors," Zhujun Shi, Ph.D. the candidate at Harvard and the first co-author of the paper, explained.</p><p>The last piece of the puzzle is a very efficient algorithm that analyzes two images produced by Metalen and uses them to create depth maps. Together, metalens and algorithms form a new type of depth camera that can be used for technology from lightweight VR headsets to wearable devices to microrobots.</p><p>This research was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.</p></p></div> </pre> </pre> <script async src=
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