Li Zhang is faculty in the UW Madison Computer Sciences Department, and has interests in computer vision and graphics. Graduate student Alok Deshpande’s project is interdisciplinary research that seeks to realize bio-inspired intelligent micro optical imaging systems.

Six types of natural eyes are selected to provide inspirations to meet those challenges: camera-type eyes (for example, human eyes) apposition compound eyes (for example, flies) eye arrays (for example, spiders) non-circular shaped pupils (for example, rays) reflecting superposition compound eyes (for example, shrimps) and bi-fovea retinas (for example, hawks) This research incorporates the useful elements of natural visual systems into integrated, intelligent, micro imaging systems without anatomic and physiological constraints. This research has the following main tasks: Development of spherical multi-micro-camera arrays (MMCA) integrating light field photography. This integration enables miniaturized systems to acquire panoramic videos with large depth of field. Development of artificial reflecting superposition compound eyes (ARSCE) by coupling a spherical micro-mirror-box array and a spherical photodetector array. This integration enables high-transmittance and low-chromatic-aberration imaging over a wide spectrum. Development of bio-inspired multi-fovea coordination software as a general framework for efficient processing of visual information and a simulation platform for verification of hypotheses in bio-vision research. Validation of developed hardware and software prototypes through computer simulation and physical experimentation. The images shown left to right: a sample Noisy Image, a Tone Mapped Noisy Image, the project’s Video Denoising, and a State-of-the Art Video Denoising. The researchers also propose a coherent and comprehensive education and outreach plan that includes curriculum improvement and development, mentoring graduate, undergraduate and underrepresented students (especially those with learning disabilities), creation of and participation in interdisciplinary educational programs, and dissemination and outreach to the local community and general public.

Li Zhang, UW Madision