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Hyperspectral Eye



The optical system 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. 


In the human eye, the detection area of sharp vision lies in the fovea centralis, the small pit near the center of the macula region of the retina. The eye is in constant motion to image the things we see into this tiny area. The image information is derived from two sources: the glances in different directions as well as the eye movements in between, the so-called saccades. The picture of the Rubik’s cube on the side should illustrate this a little more graphically. zauberwürfel


The exceptional spectral vision of mantis shrimps serves as a biological model for the spectral analysis on the technical level. One of the most exceptional features of the shrimp’s trinocular eye is the slit at its centre. It holds the receptors for spectral detection, which can achieve highest spectral contrasts.


We intend to combine both visual systems. Our goal is to obtain sharp and highly resolved images on different levels as well as getting the spectral information of each pixel. To put it simply, we want to combine functions of the eye, such as depth of focus and wide-angle vision, with those of a spectrometer.


Such a system could be used in fluorescent microscopy or in the monitoring of critical processes. Another industrial application lies in quality control and management.



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