Even the highest quality television can easily seem unrealistic. One primary reason for this, that camera movements are unsurprisingly unlike the human eye's, is the subject of Joshua Schultz's research. Schultz works at Georgia Tech’s School of Mechanical Engineering designing an imaging system that moves a camera with more "naturally." The building blocks of his system are piezoelectrics -- materials that expand and contract when subject to a current, similar to our muscles. The problem has always been that piezoelectrics have only a limited range of motion. Schultz's trick was to put many of these in series, with the resulting piezoelectric stack providing much more muscle-like movements. “The goal of scaling up piezoelectric ceramic stacks holds great potential to more accurately replicate human eye motion than previous actuators,” noted Schultz. The research could increase the safety of robotic tools in industrial and medical applications.
Relevant Locations: Georgia Institute of Technology, 84 Fifth St NW, Atlanta, GA 30308, USA