Mantis modelling 3D glasses
(January 7, 2016) Miniature glasses have proved that mantises use 3D vision - providing a new model to improve visual perception in robots.
Most knowledge about 3D vision has come from vertebrates, however, a Newcastle University team publishing today in Scientific Reports, confirm that the praying mantis, an invertebrate, does indeed use stereopsis or 3D perception for hunting.
In a specially-designed insect cinema, they have shown that it needs to be 'old school' 3D glasses for tests to work on mantises. While in humans that would be with red and blue lenses, red light is poorly visible to mantises so they have custom-made glasses with one blue and one green lens!
Better understanding of 3D vision
3D vision in mantises was originally shown in the 1980s by Samuel Rossel, but his work used prisms and occluders which meant that only a very limited set of images could be shown. The Newcastle University team has developed 3D glasses suitable for insects which means they can show the insects any images they want, opening up new avenues of research.
Study leader, Jenny Read, Professor of Vision Science who is supported by the Leverhulme Trust said: “Despite their minute brains, mantises are sophisticated visual hunters which can capture prey with terrifying efficiency. We can learn a lot by studying how they perceive the world.