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Cameron H. G. Wright
The early vision system of insects as well as many higher level organisms exhibit interesting phenomena and features such as analog preprocessing, parallel structure, and sub-pixel resolution. Early vision is defined as the vision processes that occur within the first few cellular synapses beyond the photoreceptor layer. These features allow for the rapid extraction of image primitives: object edges, boundaries, image segmentation, and movement parameters.
We propose a new approach to the challenge of vision sensor development which takes its inspiration from the obvious success of biological vision systems. This project will use a similar evolutionary, system-level development that has resulted in robust, adaptable vision for so many biological organisms. In this biologically-based systems approach, the sensor (the "eye") and the computational subsystem (the "visual cortex") will be developed together. The sensor design and the computational algorithm design will be made to evolve together as a synergistic, mutually optimized pair; we believe this will greatly increase the probability that successful computer vision will be achieved for a wide variety of medical applications.
Our laboratory is investigating fly-inspired vision sensors via electrophysiology of the common housefly, modeling of the fly's vision processing, modeling of sensors based on the fly's vision system, and prototyping of physical sensors.