“Mantis Cam” is a new camera which replicates the incredible eyes of the mantis shrimp

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posted Tuesday, December 12, 2017 at 4:30 PM EST

 
 

Normally scientists and engineers design cameras to see in a way similar to how the human eye sees the world. Sure, there are infrared cameras and other specialized tools, but researchers at the University of Illinois have developed a specialized camera to see the world similar to how mantis shrimp see the world.

What makes the eyes of mantis shrimp unique? The crustaceans see natural phenomena that we are unable to perceive thanks to their 16 types of color receptors (humans have only three) and mantis shrimp eyes have six polarization channels. Polarization of light is "the direction of oscillation of light as it propagates in space," says Viktor Gruev, a University of Illinois professor of electric and computer engineering. Between their high number of color receptors and their half dozen polarization channels, mantis shrimp can detect more visual information with more efficiency than even today's most advanced scientific cameras.

Scientists have been studying the mantis shrimp eyes and have been able to replicate some of their natural advantages in the form of a new camera, which costs less than $100, and can be used to help detect the early formation of different cancers. The "Mantis Cam" can also be used to provide a new kind of underwater footage which helps us learn more about underwater phenomena we have otherwise been unable to observe. To learn more, check out the video below.

(Via Digital Trends)