Gruev's bioinspired camera could help autonomous cars see better
Joseph Park, ECE ILLINOIS
10/12/2018 3:24:53 PM
ECE ILLINOIS Professor Viktor Gruev led a team of researchers to develop a new camera that could significantly improve the ability of self-driving cars to identify hazards in challenging imaging conditions. By detecting polarization and featuring a dynamic range that is about 10,000 times higher than today's commercial cameras, these new cameras are able to see better in hazardous driving conditions including "the transition from a dark tunnel into bright sunlight or during hazy or foggy conditions" according to The Optical Society.
Furthermore, the researchers are exploring other applications of these cameras including the detection of cancer cells, which exhibit a different light polarization than normal tissue and to improve upon ocean exploration.
Gruev's camera is inspired by mantis shrimp which have a logarithmic response to light intensity. The shrimps are "sensitive to a high range of light intensities" so the researchers modeled their cameras after the logarithmic dynamic range of the shrimps by using an unorthodox forward bias mode rather than the traditional reverse bias mode.