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Recreating the eye of the fly

Tiny camera with 180 linked lenses captures panoramic views, could provide surveillance

12:52pm, May 1, 2013

A new digital camera may change the meaning of bug-eyed. Inspired by the compound eyes of certain ants, beetles and flies, engineers have developed a digital camera that, thanks to 180 tiny lenses, is capable of panoramic views. Such cameras might soon bedeck tiny flying robots that could scour a disaster site for survivors or conduct other aerial surveillance. 

When light strikes the new camera, it passes through a curved rubber compound lens about the size of a dime. The surface of the lens is actually 180 smaller lenses that guide the light to a layer of detectors at the camera’s back. Each lens gathers a portion of the scene and these segments combine into one panoramic image with

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