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The variety of natural eyes - be they human's, mantis shrimp's or insect's - is as manifold as the applications our scientists target in their research and development of novel active micro-optics.

Hyperspectral eye

fangschreckenkrebsauge2The visual capability of crustaceans, mantis shrimps in particular, inspired us to conceptualize a MEMS model that combines the shrimps’ vision with that of humans. The miniaturized optical system should have a simple setup, deliver sharp images and, on top, enable a full spectral analysis of individual dots. 

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Single aperture eye

mikroiris vor augeThe human eye is an accomplished ‘optical system’ showing how Nature succeeds in exploiting the potential of soft-matter.This project aims at revealing the potential of soft materials for technical optics. On the basis of our past research on soft-matter components, we develop an artificial 'eye' that is based on the structure and functionality of the human (single aperture) eye. Our model uses soft materials only, both for the lens (polymer) as well as for the actuation of the iris (liquid).

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Adaptive scanning micro-eye

augeIn general, mammals' eyes generally have a rather tiny pupil, the optical quality of their vision is very high. This is not simply because the brain works associatively by comparing information to recorded data. The chief factor is the variable optical adaptability of the eye as such. We develop an adaptive scanning single facet eye, which imitates the complex functions of the human eye. This technical model will consist of microlenses with variable apertures, microprisms with variable angles of deflection, as well as variable spectral and spatial filters and micro-irises.

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Plenoptical cameras

plenoptikprinzipLike most mammals’, the three-dimensional vision of humans is dependent on stereoscopic vision, which is to say the separate vision of left and right eye. The information of three-dimensional depth, gained by the disparity of the two different images, is produced in the brain. Technically speaking, it is quite challenging to miniaturize systems that are based on binocular vision. We tackle this challenge by developing active micro-optics for plenoptical cameras.

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