"OPTICS: Analog CMOS chip mimics the retina of an octopus"
Neophyte scuba divers tend to expect underwater vistas akin to those in tropical-island brochures-bright, clear water, filled with colorful fish. The harsh reality is that most underwater scenes are poorly lit at best, with the norm being dark, monotone and murky. To compensate, the octopus' visual system has adapted to spotting prey in the worst waters. Indeed, who would be a better model for a low-visibility vision system than an animal that, when attacked itself, sprays its own low-visibility "ink"? Accordingly, researchers sponsored by a National Science Foundation effort are intent on imparting the vision abilities of an octopus to undersea autonomous robots. By mimicking the octopus' ability to see well underwater with an analog silicon octopus retina ("o-retina"), the University of Buffalo group believes it can revolutionize space and undersea exploration, and improve visibility in hazardous environments and hard-to-reach places such as underground pipes
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