Blurry Spider Vision Will Make a Better Robot Someday?

Senior Contributor
01.27.12 4 Comments

Spiders are about the last animals you’d expect to have blurry vision: after all, they have so many eyes.

But spiders, specifically jumping spiders, have weird vision. Specifically, they have weird depth perception. They’re perfectly still when hunting, so they don’t move to judge depth. They have four eyes, but their visual fields don’t overlap. So how do they judge distance and grab prey out of the air, every time?

Focus. Spider eyes have a layer that focuses each wavelength of light, but one layer focuses green light sharply, while a deeper layer focuses green light as a blur. In other words, if there’s green light, a spider has nearly perfect depth perception.

How will this help robots? By mimicking this structure, it’ll help robots better judge distances and thus make them better coordinated and better able to plan and execute a series of actions. It will also justify building creepy spider bots, and that’s the most important thing of all.

via Ars Technica

image courtesy Shutterstock

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