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Compact metalens depth sensor inspired by spiders

In recent work, we have shown that a multi-functional metalens can be designed to mimic the eyes of a certain class of spiders found in nature, whose multi-layered retinae allow for the acquisition of multiple images at varying degrees of focus. From these multiple images, a depth image can be determined with minimal computational heft (easily enough to be processed in real time in the tiny brain of a jumping spider). In our work, we show that the co-design of a metalens and a computer vision algorithm permit the realization of a flexible depth camera. It is published inPNAS, press release from SEAS Harvard News, YouTube, and ELE Times.

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