Curved artificial compound-eyes for autonomous navigation
Natural compound-eyes consist of a large number of ommatidia that are arranged on curved surfaces and thus are able to detect signals from a wide field of view. We present an integrated artificial compound-eye sensor system with enhanced field of view of 180 degrees x 60 degrees due to the introduction of curvature. The system bases on an array of adaptive logarithmic wide-dynamic-range photoreceptors for optical flow detection and compound-eye optics for increasing sensitivity and expanding the field of view. Its assembling is mainly done in planar geometry on a flexible printed circuit board. The separation into smaller ommatidia blocks by dicing enables flexibility and finally allows for mounting on curved surfaces. The signal processing electronics of the presented system is placed together with further sensors into the concavity of the photoreceptor array, and facilitates optical flow computation for navigation purposes.