Spider vision for robots is being developed at the California Institute of Technology by a group of engineers who are “turning to nature for help” in reducing the amount of computing power needed to analyse images formed in the micro-chip eyes of moving robots.
According to a report in New Scientist, 31 March 2001, p20, the engineers have built a spring loaded image sensor chip that vibrates in the same way a jumping spider vibrates its retinae (the arrays of light sensitive cells at the back of the eyes). The moving chip can detect the changes in light and shade that make up an image much more precisely than similar chips that are kept still.
Editorial Comment: Artificial vision systems that can see and understand the surrounding environment are one of the most challenging aspects of robot technology. By studying vision in living creatures engineers have learned a lot. As a result they need to heed the warning given by the New Testament Apostle Paul in Romans 1, which warns that those who recognise God’s work but fail to give thanks to Him become fools. By “turning to nature” engineers are benefiting from God’s creative design and they owe Him the credit. Giving applause to “nature” is idolatry and sooner or later God will judge them for it.
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