Chapter

Flying Insects and Robots

pp 127-142

Date:

Microoptical Artificial Compound Eyes

  • Andreas BrücknerAffiliated withFraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering Email author 
  • , Jacques DuparréAffiliated withFraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering
  • , Frank WippermannAffiliated withFraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering
  • , Peter DannbergAffiliated withFraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering
  • , Andreas BräuerAffiliated withFraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering

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Abstract

The cost–benefit ratio of miniaturized single aperture eyes underlies certain limitations, so that evolution led to the development of multi-aperture eyes in case of tiny creatures like invertebrates. Physical constraints, which also apply for the miniaturized artificial imaging systems, make this natural evolutionary path comprehensible. Shrinking down to a sub-millimeter range, the use of parallel imaging with multi-aperture systems is crucial. In this domain, microoptical design approaches and fabrication techniques are the solution of choice. This technology allows the realization of cost-efficient miniaturized imaging systems with sub-micron precision by means of photolithography and replication. The approaches proposed here are mainly inspired by insect vision in nature, although they are bound to planar substrates.