Tiny camera in Illinois offers bug’s eye view

In this May 10, 2013 photo, Viktor Malyarchuk adjusts a small camera lens that mimics the bulging eyes of insects before begins a photo sequence of an insect in the optics lab in the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory at the University of Illinois, in Urbana, Ill. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
In this May 10, 2013 photo, Viktor Malyarchuk adjusts a small camera lens that mimics the bulging eyes of insects before begins a photo sequence of an insect in the optics lab in the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory at the University of Illinois, in Urbana, Ill. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

URBANA, Ill. (AP) — A tiny new camera developed at an Illinois university is giving researchers a bug’s eye view.

The camera created by a research team at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is about the size of a penny and mimics insects’ bulging eyes. It features 180 micro-lenses, giving it a panoramic field of view and the ability to focus simultaneously on objects at different depths.

Team leader John Rogers is a professor of material science and chemistry and says he’s been fascinated by bug’s eyes since childhood. Their wide field of view helps insects like bees and flies escape dangers like humans who want to swat them.

The bug’s eye camera is likely to be developed for uses ranging from security cameras to surgical endoscopes.

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