Tiny 3D Glasses On Mantis Reveal New Form of Stereo Vision

Tiny 3D Glasses On Mantis Reveal New Form of Stereo Vision

In a related experiment within the study, researchers supplied a different image for each eye of the mantis, which a human being cannot perceive but animals like monkeys, cats, horses, owls, etc, can.

In order to determine whether the praying mantis' 3D vision works in the same way as the humans', researchers from the Newcastle University in the United Kingdom outfitted a praying mantis with its very own 3D glasses, which were attached onto the mantis using beeswax.

If you want to learn about how praying mantises see the world, one thing you can do is stick teeny tiny 3D glasses on their faces, and this is what researchers at the University of Newcastle in the United Kingdom have been doing for some years.

But these scientists found that praying mantises don't see like this. So far, praying mantis vision sounds like it works on the same principle as that of human's. According to the researchers, the 3D vision in praying mantis allows them to spot changes that occur in the movies, although human eyes can't identify those changes. But the researchers then investigated whether praying mantises compute 3-D images in a similar way to humans, and discovered significant differences.

Humans are incredibly good at seeing 3D in still images. Like those you might wear to see a 3D movie, these glasses are designed so that each eye sees slightly different things on a 2D screen, allowing the image to pop out in three dimensions. Mimicking the mantis' form of 3D vision could be a much simpler way to achieve the same effect.

"Mantises only attack moving prey, so their 3D doesn't need to work in still images", said Vivek Nityananda, an author of the study from Newcastle University. Apparently, they care so little about the details of the image that when each eye is shown completely different images, they can still pick out which parts are changing over time. The team found mantises don't bother about the details of the picture but just look for places where the picture is changing.

According to their findings, mantises arrive at their 3D perception by processing visual information differently than people do, an unusual technique that allows mantises to see some objects in 3D even when humans can not. Additionally, they even tried to capture it.

"Many robots use stereo vision to help them navigate, but this is usually based on complex human stereo. In mantises, it is probably created to answer the question, 'Is there prey at the right distance for me to catch?'" Researcher Jenny Read believes that this form of 3D vision can be used in robots with a lot less computing power than is now required.

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