Sunday, June 28, 2009

More discovery about compound eyes of insects

Compound eyes of insects is always a research topics. From what we currently know, we believe that the image form is superpositioned with scattered patterns.

Anatomy of a compound eye shows multilens structure and thus that we believe they are seeing multiple images and that I think not! We were misleaded by our ignorants of sight engineering ideas of visual functions. I don't think human being can think of such super intelligent work of design!

current image
Image of Distinction, 2007 Tomasz Szul

High Resolution Imaging Facility
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Birmingham, Alabama, USA

This articles let us know more about the principle architecture of animal's eye.

Starting from human eye, we have a wide range of eye sight around 0-180degree because of our moving head along left and right. We can scan widely by turning our head and at the same time our eyes is a focusing type of vision. That is the focal length of the eye :Object focal length of the eye = 16.7 mm- 22.3 mm. When we seeing forward, we can actually seeing a focus area. We, as human, are advance animals who demand intense need of focus. A movable head allow us to quickly extend our range of vision. But how about insects? especial flying insects?

Little insects have a movable heads. They have difficult to change flying directions during their flight. Thus their eyes need to be built to see wider range.

If we understand why human eyes are built with images form at a concave shell of eye ball, it is more easy for us to understand why insect's eyes are built like a compound eye.

Compare to human eyes, single convex lens form an focus type of image on a concave surface (retina). We have fisheye lens used in photgraphy which range a focal length near 10 mm. The viewing angle can be maximized to almost but limited to 180.

With a need of wider angle for insects to defends their enemy, they need an eye with viewing angle more than 180 degree. And let's see how they were built.

I don't think there is a fully understood theory of the compound eyes even we got the detail anatomy of it. We haven't discovered yet the architect behind it. So let's move on.

If we think base on the anatomy, we cannot fully understand why their eyes are built like this.
They have strange multiple lens fully covered to form what we call a compound eyes because what we see in our human eyes, there is a single lens. So we assume one eye one lens. Therefore we believe one eyes form one images and so to think they are seeing multiple images. This is wrong!

When we understand why our eyes are built like what we have, we can think of an opposite application that the built eyes should be able to view an angle more than 180 degrees. So we can think of an applications that make viewing angle more than 180 degree. What is it? It is convex mirror! A convex mirror can converge viewing angle more than 180 degree.

To achieve this, the image sensory receptor (retina of human eyes) should change from concave to convex!

With a convex receptor surface, single lens cannot do the job! Therefore, multiple scattered lens is needed so to form image on a convex surfaces. The images formed is just like what we see in a convex mirror rather than what we believed in researcher's reports.

What's wrong with their approaches? We just believe the image formed should be similar to our own eye's structure. It should be opposite! Otherwise you cannot have a viewing angle more than 180 degree.

Experiment to demonstrate this, if you or your organization , university , research lab are interested in such experiment, I am glad to lead if you do have research supporting facilities or fundings. And share of intellectual property is negotiable for funding this research.

Commercial applications: Without high intelligents you can figure out how useful it can be if we can have viewing angle for flying vehicles that can be as good as flying insects!
What advantages can this bring to jetfighter, aeroplanes, spaceshuttles and submarines be?
This is a breakthrough of current visual technology.

What I need is a company who sponsor this project with intelligent research engineer team and funding supporting the research and commercialize the derived inventions.

Drop me a line if you think you can get sponsors of this project.


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