The Stanford camera goes a few steps deeper by taking the many lenses off the main lens assembly (the Adobe model), and miniaturizing and attaching them directly to the image sensor. This technique means the traditional main lens doesn’t need to be of high quality, as it’s now only a gateway for the lenses on the sensor. The 12,616 lenses together on the chip produce a powerful tool for three-dimensional imaging and modeling. The researchers see robotics as the ideal application for the system, potentially giving machines better depth perception than humans so they can perform delicate tasks. Other uses include facial recognition in security applications and three-dimensional biological imaging.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.