Flies eyes could enhance robot vision

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Flies’ eyes could enhance robot vision (2008, May 9) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2008-05-flies-eyes-robot-vision.html Researchers from the Naval Air Warfare Center in China Lake, California, and the University of Wyoming have developed a fiber optic sensor inspired by the compound eye of the common housefly, Musca domestica. One of the biggest advantages of the design is that it can quickly locate edges and boundaries of images. Machines such as unmanned vehicles, guided missiles, and high-speed industrial inspection robots might take advantage of this ability to locate tiny, moving objects with high precision.In a recent issue of Bioinspiration & Biomimetics, researchers D. Riley, et al., describe how flies’ vision systems are uniquely geared toward locating small objects with high precision. In fact, flies possess a visual precision beyond the resolution limit – a property called hyperacuity. This feature is actually common to many animals, including humans.“The fly has significant advantages with respect to tracking,” the researchers told PhysOrg.com. “As a system, the fly has very quick reaction times. … They can react and track much better than untrained humans; however I would question that the quality of the rest of their vision is even comparable.” They added that, overall, insect vision (and sensor technology inspired by it) is still far inferior to human vision, and probably always will be.The researchers explained that the more interesting component of the fly’s vision system is that the field of view of each photoreceptor in a fly’s eye overlaps with those next to it, with up to 90% overlap. Each eye contains about 3,000 ommatidia – the major structural unit of the eye – and each ommatidium contains eight photoreceptors. The photoreceptors’ main function is to convert light into ionic current, which then goes to the fly’s processing system(s).Unlike conventional image processing systems which are often digital, the fly’s processing system is analog. Digital systems receive data pixel by pixel, and generally require time-consuming, computationally expensive processing. The analog system helps the fly extract edge information much more quickly, and also enables parallel processing. Both these features contribute to the fly’s highly accurate, high-speed vision system. The researchers designed their sensor to mimic the fly’s overlapping photoreceptors and analog, parallel processing system. The sensor consists of a 1-mm-diameter ball lens that focuses light onto an array of photodetectors, where the field of view overlaps by about 70%. In experiments, the sensor could locate a 1-mm-wide string as the string moved across the field of vision at distances up to 200 mm from the lens, with minimal error. Such a high-res vision system could have applications in a variety of medical, commercial, industrial, and defense areas. The researchers are currently fabricating a sensor that consists of seven ommatidia with seven photoreceptors, and hope to extend the design in scale and accuracy.“We envision this sensor as a supplement to more traditional imaging sensors for most applications, and not as a replacement,” they explain. “Just as Musca domestica has both two compound eyes and a very simple camera eye, many computer and robot vision tasks can benefit from both types of sensors.”More information: Riley, D T; Harmann, W M; Barrett, S F; and Wright, C H G. “Musca domestica inspired machine vision sensor with hyperacuity.” Bioinspiration & Biomimetics. 3 (2008) 026003 (13pp).Copyright 2008 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. Explore further Researchers have designed a sensor inspired by flies’ compound eyes, which is capable of quickly locating the edges of objects. Image credit: D. Fischer. Robots with flies’ eyes could take advantage of the insect’s vision system to better locate the edges and boundaries of objects. This ability could help robots perform a variety of tasks more quickly and accurately than if they were using traditional sensors. Simple ‘smart’ glass reveals the future of artificial visionlast_img read more

Researchers show that an iron bar is capable of decisionmaking

first_img The researchers, Song-Ju Kim, Masashi Aono, and Etsushi Nameda, from institutions in Japan, have published their paper on decision-making by physical objects in a recent issue of the New Journal of Physics.”The most important implication that we wish to claim is that the proposed scheme will provide a new perspective for understanding the information-processing principles of certain lower forms of life,” Kim, from the International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics’ National Institute for Materials Science in Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan, told Phys.org. “These lower lifeforms exploit their underlying physics without needing any sophisticated neural systems.” As the researchers explain in their study, the only requirement for a physical object to exhibit an efficient decision-making ability is that the object must be “volume-conserving.” Any rigid object, such as an iron bar, meets this requirement and therefore is subject to a volume conservation law. This means that, when exposed to fluctuations, the object may move slightly to the right or left, but its total volume is always conserved. Because this displacement resembles a tug-of-war game with a rigid object, the researchers call the method “tug-of-war (TOW) dynamics.”Here’s an example of how the idea works: Say there are two slot machines A and B with different winning probabilities, and the goal is to decide which machine offers the better winning probability, and to do so as quickly as possible based on past experiences. The researchers explain that an ordinary iron bar can make this decision. Every time the outcome of a play of machine A ends in a reward, the bar moves to the left a specific distance, and every time the outcome ends in no reward, the bar moves to the right a specific distance. The same goes for a play of machine B, but the directions of the bar movements are reversed. After enough trials, the bar’s total displacement reveals which slot machine offers the better winning probability.The researchers explain that the bar’s movements occur due to physical fluctuations.”The behavior of the physical object caused by operations in the TOW can be interpreted as a fluctuation,” Kim said. “Other than this fluctuation, we added another fluctuation to our model. The important point is that fluctuations, which always exist in real physical systems, can be used to solve decision-making problems.” Quantum dots make efficient decisions Citation: Researchers show that an iron bar is capable of decision-making (2015, August 24) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-08-iron-bar-capable-decision-making.html The researchers also showed that the TOW method implemented by physical objects can solve problems faster than other decision-making algorithms that solve similar problems. The scientists attribute the superior performance to the fact that the new method can update the probabilities on both slot machines even though it plays just one of them. This feature stems from the fact that the system knows the sum of the two reward probabilities in advance, unlike the other decision-making algorithms.The researchers have already experimentally realized simple versions of a physical object that can make decisions using the TOW method in related work.”The TOW is suited for physical implementations,” Kim said. “In fact, we have already implemented the TOW in quantum dots, single photons, and atomic switches.”By showing that decision-making is not limited to biological systems, the new method has potential applications in artificial intelligence.”The proposed method will introduce a new physics-based analog computing paradigm, which will include such things as ‘intelligent nanodevices’ and ‘intelligent information networks’ based on self-detection and self-judgment,” Kim said. “One example is a device that can make a directional change so as to maximize its light-absorption.” This ability is similar to how a young sunflower turns in the direction of the sun.Another possibility that the researchers recently explored is an analogue computer that harnesses natural fluctuations in order to maximize the total rewards “without paying the conventionally required computational cost.” Journal information: New Journal of Physics (Phys.org)—Decision-making—the ability to choose one path out of several options—is generally considered a cognitive ability possessed by biological systems, but not by physical objects. Now in a new study, researchers have shown that any rigid physical (i.e., non-living) object, such as an iron bar, is capable of decision-making by gaining information from its surroundings accompanied by physical fluctuations. Explore further In tug-of-war dynamics, an iron bar can decide which slot machine has the higher winning probability by moving to the left for each rewarded play and to the right for each non-rewarded play of Machine A. The bar’s movements are caused by physical fluctuations. Credit: Kim, et al. © 2015 Phys.org More information: Song-Ju Kim, et al. “Efficient decision-making by volume-conserving physical object.” New Journal of Physics. DOI: 10.1088/1367-2630/17/8/083023 This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Ultrahigh resolution images of butterfly wing crystals offer clues to how nanoscale

first_img(Phys.org)—An international team of researchers has taken another step toward understanding the process by which butterfly wing scales develop crystals that result in bright, vivid colors. In their paper published in the open-access site Science Advances, the group describes the methods they used to study the wing scale crystals of the hairstreak butterfly—a black and bright blue native of parts of Colorado and northern Mexico—and what they found. Photographs of T. opsenia, C. rubi, and P. sesostris butterflies adjacent to electron micrograph images of the nano-scale structures that lend each species their distinctive wing coloration. Credit: (c) Bodo Wilts Explore further Image of a single scale from a butterfly wing, showing color transitioning from red to green. Credit: (c) Bodo Wilts The researchers suggest the structure they witnessed in one species is likely found in others, and claim their results add to the understanding of gyroid development, while also offering clues regarding how cellular structures develop in other creatures such as mitochondria or chloroplasts. More information: Bodo D. Wilts et al. Butterfly gyroid nanostructures as a time-frozen glimpse of intracellular membrane development, Science Advances (2017). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1603119AbstractThe formation of the biophotonic gyroid material in butterfly wing scales is an exceptional feat of evolutionary engineering of functional nanostructures. It is hypothesized that this nanostructure forms by chitin polymerization inside a convoluted membrane of corresponding shape in the endoplasmic reticulum. However, this dynamic formation process, including whether membrane folding and chitin expression are simultaneous or sequential processes, cannot yet be elucidated by in vivo imaging. We report an unusual hierarchical ultrastructure in the butterfly Thecla opisena that, as a solid material, allows high-resolution three-dimensional microscopy. Rather than the conventional polycrystalline space-filling arrangement, a gyroid occurs in isolated facetted crystallites with a pronounced size gradient. When interpreted as a sequence of time-frozen snapshots of the morphogenesis, this arrangement provides insight into the formation mechanisms of the nanoporous gyroid material as well as of the intracellular organelle membrane that acts as the template. © 2017 Phys.org Journal information: Science Advances Highly magnified image of a single scale from a butterfly wing, showing the nano-scale arrangement of crystal structures called gyroids that are responsible for the structure’s unique optical properties. Credit: (c) Bodo Wilts X-ray snapshot of butterfly wings reveals underlying physics of color People of all backgrounds are captivated by butterflies—their bright colors and lackadaisical lifestyle of flitting from flower to flower tend to elicit smiles and warm feelings. And while a general understanding of the physical structure of the butterfly’s wings has been well documented, the process by which they arrive at their coloring has never been discovered—this is because it happens over the course of several days inside of their cocoons, where tiny cameras would not really work. In this new effort, the researchers report taking another step in the discovery process.Prior research has shown that butterfly wings are covered in scales with chitin crystals called gyroids on their surfaces—the gyroids reflect light in certain ways, creating the perception of colors. But how the gyroids develop to display colors is still unclear. In this new effort, the researchers took the closest ever look at the scales and gyroids using several imaging techniques, and report finding something new.Images taken using scanning electron microscopy, high magnification light microscopy and x-ray nanotomography revealed gyroids with a definite size gradient—and which were not interconnected. From the perspective of moving along a scale from one end to the other, the gyroids on the surface grow larger, which suggested a dynamic growth process. This finding casts doubt on prior theories suggesting that the gyroids were generated from what has been described as a “pre-folded template.” Citation: Ultra-high resolution images of butterfly wing crystals offer clues to how nano-scale structures form (2017, April 27) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-04-ultra-high-resolution-images-butterfly-wing.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Delhi this evening is for Faiz

first_imgFaiz Ahmed Faiz is one name that is taken in the same breath with the other Urdu masters. And now Delhiites will get a chance to relive his memories at this evening that is dedicated to the legendary poet. ‘Faiz phir teri yaad ayi’ is an ode to the legendary revolutionary poet from Pakistan who was a notable member of the Progressive Writers’ Movement (PWM), and an avid follower of Marxism. It will be a musical evening based on Faiz’s poems which have been researched and compiled by Vinod Verma, who runs a cultural society, Tamasha. Joining him will be Madan Bala Sindhu’s Sufi and classical music which will be based on Faiz’s poems. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’‘His pathbreaking poems reflected a tinge of romance and reality during the time of Independence, which triggered the nation to raise its voice against suppression,’ said Verma.The works of Faiz, who is also known as ‘Poet of the East’, will be recited and sung with a background score by Sindhu.‘It’s a celebration of his famous works like Darbar-e-Batan, Dua, Meri kismat se khelne wale, Shisho ka Maseeha koi nahi, Aye kuch abre kuch sharab aye, Raaz- e-ulfat chupa ke dekh liya, Shaam-e-Firaaq, Naqsh-e-Faryadi, Dast-e-Saba, Mere Dil Mere Musafir Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflixto name a few of his masterpieces,’ said Sindhu.Music will play a major role in the recital this evening and it will juxtapose with his romantic poems at first, and then later on his rebellious ones.‘The concept, along with the music, is based on Faiz’s life. He took a turn from romantic writings to realistic ones when he was sent to correctional homes in 1951 due to a political conspiracy in Pakistan,’ said Verma, who has done almost 100 workshops on Faiz’s works in India and abroad in the last 32 years. Says Sindhu: ‘Faiz is like a Comrade, his thoughts were soft but effective and inspired the classical and Sufi singers. His poetry never gets old because the problems and situations are so much related to us till now and they have not changed.’‘Today we sing his songs because of his beautiful poetry, he as a human being served as an inspiration which motivated us to speak up for ourselves, for the society,’ added Sindhu.DETAILAt: India Habitat Centre, Lodhi RoadWhen: 17 January Timings: 7 pm onwardslast_img read more

For the artisans it is fashion for a cause

first_imgDesigners are there one too many. While most of them try to cater to their high profile clientele, rarely would you come across somebody who is giving back something to the weavers. Well, for the uninitiated, Anuradha Ramam is one designer who acknowledges the labour that her artisans put in to create stunning designs. Ramam, herself, is a self taught designer who is driven by a single passion: to preserve the old crafts heritage of the country and present it to the people of today with a contemporary touch. Ramam today, supports over 350 weavers and artisans of Andhra and Bengal who work exclusively for her and are involved in stunning creations.  A firm believer in giving back something to the society, Ramam donates a part of her earnings to make a better life for her weavers. Here’s a designer you want to keep in mind!last_img read more

Shower power

first_imgA shower is a must after any kind of physical work or workout as it cleans the body. But did you know that it also helps reduce stress and in losing weight.A post-workout shower also helps in enhancing recovery and immunity, reports femalefirst.co.uk.Hygiene – First and foremost, a post workout shower is essential in terms of hygiene. The sweat that you produce whilst exercising might be a sign of a good session, but people would prefer to hear about it rather than smell it.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Showering is especially important if you play sports where you might have contact with another person. For swimmers, this is equally important as the chlorine in swimming pools will damage your hair and skin if you simply towel off after getting out.Recovery – Shower can help aid recovery after a hard session. Aching muscles the day after a hard exercising session, known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), can be prevented by having an ice-cold shower and holding the showerhead directly over the muscles you’ve been working.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixElite athletes will use an ice-bath, but putting your shower on the coldest setting is a quicker and easier alternative. If you exercise daily or more than once a day this is especially important as you can start your next session without being impeded by DOMS, allowing you to maintain the intensity of the previous session.If you are still feeling a little ‘tight’ in the morning, a hot shower can help to increase blood flow to the muscles allowing them to relax and ease the tension. Fat loss – If exercise is integral to healthy weight loss, so is a cold shower afterwards. To maintain your body temperature during a cold shower, your metabolism can increase by up to 550 percent of its resting level, meaning that you burn more calories just to stay warm. If a freezing cold shower is too uncomfortable, even low levels of cold can increase the energy demands of your body and increase muscle tone. Health and mood – Some sports actively encourage showering as an integral part of their training regime. The Taekwon-Do moral code for example explains that cold showers (known as naeng soo machal) can help students build pride and tenacity. As the saying goes – healthy mind, healthy body: exposure to cold water has also shown increase in the body’s supply of a powerful antioxidant called glutathione which boosts the immune system.last_img read more

A chapter on Changes

first_imgCellphones, is a must for everyone now, especially in India. This gadget which came to the country more than a decade ago is now an important part of all the Indians. The advent of this phones in India marked certain changes in the Indian society and its economy too. What are the changes, what is the extent of the change- to get the answer of this questions COAI in association with IIC presents the lecture session on Cellphone Nation- How mobile phones changed India. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Robin Jeffrey, who has studied the effects of mobile phones on Indian society and economy will take back the audience to the India’s history as how the communication from Mughal Era to British Raj changed the course of history. From there to the nostalgia of telephony in 60s, 70s, 80s and a big bang of mobile phones in 90s onwards, Jeffery will be touching upon every aspect of Indian life. Jeffery’s lectures will also include the negative aspects of cheap, handheld, communication devices.When: 30 April Where: India International Centre, 40 Max Mueller MargTiming: 6:30 pmlast_img read more

8 month maternity leave set to get government nod

first_imgUnion Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Sanjay Gandhi’s demand to extend maternity leave from existing three months to eight months is expected to be cleared by a committee of Secretaries soon. “The Cabinet Secretariat has asked the Union Women and Child Development Ministry to invite comments of various concerned Ministries, after that it will be sent to a committee of Secretaries,” sources in the Ministry told Millennium Post.Union Women and Child Development Ministry’s eight-month proposal for maternity leave as explained by Maneka, clearly suggests that one month leave is mandatory before delivery and seven months post delivery – the time required to breastfeed the child.  Also Read – Punjab on alert after release of excess water from Bhakra damExplaining the concept, the Minister told Millennium Post, “Eight months of maternity leave is a necessity because in one month the woman goes into the stage where the she has to prepare for the baby’s needs which include taking care of his/her clothes, food, and other essentials. Also, the ideal minimum duration for breastfeeding a baby is seven months. All the best doctors and gynaecologists have suggested that seven months are required for breastfeeding a child. Only after this period can one go ahead and give the child home cooked food. That sums up the significance of the eight-month time line.”She had termed the move made by Union Ministry of Labour to extend maternity leave from three to six months as “meaningless” and stressed the importance of  “eight months for this leave being a necessity.”last_img read more

India China need to work together Maa Zhanwu

first_imgKolkata: Consul General of People’s Republic of China in Kolkata Maa Zhanwu has said his country along with India needed to work together for greater welfare of the world. The relations between the two countries have seen much progress and the meeting with India Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in July opened a new chapter in bilateral ties, he said. “We need to further promote exchanges and cooperation between the two great nations to contribute significantly to promoting world peace”, Zhanwu said while addressing the 69th anniversary of inception of People’s Republic of China on Thursday night. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life Talking about his country, he said, “China was a poor country and there was poverty. But now China is changing into a developed country.” At the 19th Congress of Communist Party of China, the footprint for becoming a “strong, prosperous and a beautiful country” had been already laid down. Zhanwu said, “This year is the 40th anniversary of reforms in China. China is now number one in foreign exchange reserves with the economy growing steadily”.last_img read more

Decoding human thoughts may help people with ADHD

first_imgIf you think your mind stops wandering when you’re doing nothing, think again. Canadian researchers have developed a new framework for understanding how human thoughts flow, even at rest and thus help people with various mental illness like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).Mind-wandering is typically characterised as thoughts that stray from what you’re doing. “Mind-wandering is not an odd quirk of the mind. Rather, it’s something that the mind does when it enters into a spontaneous mode. Without this spontaneous mode, we couldn’t do things like dream or think creatively,” said lead author Kalina Christoff, Professor at University of British Columbia, Canada.  Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe study published in the journal Nature Reviews Neuroscience proposed that the flow of thoughts is grounded in the interaction between different brain networks and flows freely when the mind is in its default state – mind-wandering. Yet two types of constraints – one automatic and the other deliberate – can curtail this spontaneous movement of thoughts.However, spontaneous thought processes – including mind wandering, but also creative thinking and dreaming – arise when thoughts are relatively free from these deliberate and automatic constraints, the researchers said. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive“Understanding what makes thought free and what makes it constrained is crucial because it can help us understand how thoughts move in the minds of those diagnosed with mental illness,” Christoff said.“Everyone’s mind has a natural ebb and flow of thought, but our framework reconceptualises disorders like ADHD, depression and anxiety as extensions of that normal variation in thinking,” added Zachary Irving, postdoctoral scholar at the University of California, Berkeley.According to Irving, “We all have someone with anxiety and ADHD in our minds. The anxious mind helps us focus on what’s personally important, whereas the ADHD mind allows us to think freely and creatively.”last_img read more