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Sci Adv. 2017 Feb 15;3(2):e1602655. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.1602655. eCollection 2017 Feb.

3D-printed eagle eye: Compound microlens system for foveated imaging.

Author information

1
Institute of Applied Optics and Research Center SCoPE, University of Stuttgart, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany.
2
4th Physics Institute and Research Center SCoPE, University of Stuttgart, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany.

Abstract

We present a highly miniaturized camera, mimicking the natural vision of predators, by 3D-printing different multilens objectives directly onto a complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) image sensor. Our system combines four printed doublet lenses with different focal lengths (equivalent to f = 31 to 123 mm for a 35-mm film) in a 2 × 2 arrangement to achieve a full field of view of 70° with an increasing angular resolution of up to 2 cycles/deg field of view in the center of the image. The footprint of the optics on the chip is below 300 μm × 300 μm, whereas their height is <200 μm. Because the four lenses are printed in one single step without the necessity for any further assembling or alignment, this approach allows for fast design iterations and can lead to a plethora of different miniaturized multiaperture imaging systems with applications in fields such as endoscopy, optical metrology, optical sensing, surveillance drones, or security.

KEYWORDS:

3D printing; foveated imaging; micro camera; multi-aperture imaging systems

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