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Articles Place in the Top 25 of IEEE Sensors Journal’s Top Downloads

January 30, 2012

by: Jonathan S Barrett

Over the past decade, the Wyoming Information, Signal Processing, and Robotics (WISPR) Laboratory has developed multiple generations of analog vision sensors inspired by the common housefly, Musca domestica.  The co-principle investigators in this work, Dr. Cameron Wright and Dr. Steve Barrett, have worked with a team of highly talented graduate and undergraduate students on this research effort.  The team is motivated by the fly’s vision system features such a fast, parallel operation and motion hyperacuity.  These features have motivated the development of a series of small sensors that readily detect movement in low light environments.

Two papers on this topic co-authored by Wright, Barrett and their two graduate students, Roopa Prabhakara and Geoff Luke recently appeared in the (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) IEEE Sensors Journal.  Both have been recognized for being ranked number 3 and 11 respectively, in the top 25 downloads of over 1000 papers that have been published by the journal.

Roopa Prabhakara’s co-authored paper entitled Motion Detection: A Biomimetic Vision Sensor Versus a CCD Camera Sensor, compared a traditional CCD imaging sensor with the biomimetic vision sensor.  The focus of the paper was comparing the two sensor’s ability to detect small moving objects at varying speeds and levels of contrast.

Upon completion of her course work at the University of Wyoming, Prabhakara was hired as a staff engineer with the Microsoft Corporation in 2007.  A former student of Dr. Wright, she has found a large amount of success during the initial stages of her professional career.

Geoff Luke’s co-authored paper entitled, A Multiaperture Bioinspired Sensor With Hyperacuity, highlighted the phenomenon of motion hyperacuity and its function in the compound eye of Musca domestica.  Hyperacuity is a phenomenon associated with the ability to detect object motion much finer than their photoreceptor spacing suggests. This phenomenon has been detected in the eye of Musca domestica.  The paper further describes how such motion hyperacuity can be achieved through a controlled preblurring of an optical imaging system and how this method was used to develop a software model of a new fly eye sensor, optimizing its motion hyperacuity.  Finally, these were compared to the completed sensor to previously developed fly eye sensors.

Luke is currently continuing his education as a Ph.D graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin. 

To have one paper result in the list of top downloads from a respected journal such as the IEEE Sensors Journal is an enormous accomplishment, to have two on the same list is a rare feat.  This accomplishment is another example of the world-class research that continues to take place in the College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Wyoming.


G. P. Luke, C.  H. G. Wright, and S. F. Barrett, “A Multi-Aperture Bio-Inspired Sensor with Hyperacuity,” IEEE Sensors Journal special issue on Biomimetic Sensors, vol. 12, no. 2. pp. 308–314, February 2012.  (Invited paper).

R.  S. Prabhakara, C. H. G. Wright, and Steven F. Barrett, “Motion Detection: a Biomimetic Vision Sensor versus a CCD Camera Sensor,”   IEEE Sensors Journal special issue on Biomimetic Sensors, vol. 12, no. 2. pp. 298–307, February 2012. (Invited paper).


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