An artificial compound eye for stereoendoscopy

R. Szema, J. Rastegar, L. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


A scanning endoscope has been designed with the ability to both project three-dimensional images and provide precise measurements of internal structures. This is beneficial for minimally invasive surgery, where surgeons suffer from a lack of depth perception, limited field of view, and the absence of a reference frame for dimensional measurements. Borrowing from the insect compound eye, the design uses an array of prisms, each facing a different direction but with overlapping fields of view. The prisms redirect their respective images normal to a fibre optic imaging plane and are individually controlled by electrochromic shutters. The device thereby retains the ability to scan in multiple directions without mechanical parts and uses only a single camera. Comparison of the overlapping images with known prism positions allows for the calculation of absolute coordinates. Results from large-scale models show that the technology is plausible, and fabrication methods for a smaller device are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-124
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Medical Engineering and Technology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2004

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a grant of the Lemelson Foundation through its subsidiary, the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance.


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