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Student Grand Challenge: the optical systems of the future

Extended Deadline: 30 April 2018 at 11:59 EDT 

The challenge is open to OSA student members and their advisors interested in presenting concepts for enhanced machine visioning or systems that enhance the human vision system by augmenting or extending another human sense.  
 
Individuals or teams are invited to submit ideas for either a novel passive or active optical system in the form of a 35-word abstract and 2 page summary highlighting the novelty, originality and feasibility of the concept. (Additional materials may include videos highlighting system mock-up or demos.)
 
Up to four finalists will be chosen to attend the Imaging and Applied Optics Congress, 25-28 June 2018 in Orlando, FL USA to present a 3-minute synopsis of their concept as well as to host a poster during the conference poster session.  Finalists will receive a travel stipend up to $2,000 USD to cover airfare and hotel as well as full technical registration for the congress.
 
Two winners will be announced on-site and will receive a recognition plaque and a $250 prize.

Sponsored by Lockheed Martin and the OSA Foundation.

Passive Optical System Challenge Problem

The image processing community strives to duplicate human vision.  For certain specific and well defined tasks we have succeeded or surpassed human capability, but still struggle with poorly defined and dynamic environments. The category comparison between machine vision and human vision include:
  • Spectrum: Machine vision is superior as human vision is limited to the visible spectrum.  Machine vision is also more capable of seeing narrower spectrum steps and larger dynamic ranges than our eyes.
  • Resolution: Human vision is superior.  Current machine vision systems that are approaching 8K x 8K formats are starting to get there but, only with visible systems.
  • Focus: Human vision is superior being able to focus from very close to very far with a single lens element. The eye aperture is limited by the size of the pupil for objects far away.  Machine vision systems are specifically designed for very close or very far away and do not suffer from being aperture limited, but utilize many lens elements to accomplish the same human eye tasks.
  • Optical Processing: Human vision + brain is superior to machine vision on pattern recognition and decision making.
The passive optical systems challenge is to create a novel concept, technology or system for improving results in one of the 8 categories below:  
  • Image Processing: Ideas focused on detection and categorization of objects in the view field.
  • Lens Technology: Ideas that are focused on optical sensors.
  • High Speed Data Transport: Ideas that are focused on fast and efficient transport of high resolution image data and streams.
  • Adaptable Lens Technology: Ideas that are focused on adaptable optical sensors.
  • Liquid Lens Optical Sensors: Ideas focused on liquid lens.
  • Artificial Intelligence: Ideas that focus on image based cognition
  • AV/VR Technology: Ideas that are focused on Augmented and Virtual Reality technologies.
  • Other: Ideas that do not fall into one of the existing categories.

Active Optical System Challenge

Given you have a human vision system, which is intrinsically passive, how would you use active sensing techniques to augment that vision system to mimic or extend the human senses? Augmentation could mean adding higher precision 3D vision, active foveae imaging, active IR assisted sensing, vibrometry, polarimetry, sensing motion in the FOV, chemical/biological sensing, looking through fog/turbulence, etc.  Many such systems have been demonstrated, but they are often large, heavy, and costly.
 
The active optical system challenge is to come up with novel sensor concepts that mimic at least two of the human senses at a distance of at least 10 m, with the sensor fitting into one third of the human brain (roughly 0.5 liters).  More sensing modalities are encouraged, especially those that extend what humans can do.
 
  1. Sight (e.g., producing 2D or  3D images)
  2. Hearing (e.g., measuring object vibrations through optical means)
  3. Smell (e.g., chemical/biological sensing)
  4. Taste (e.g., chemical/biological sensing)
  5. Touch (e.g., characterization of surface texture and/or temperature)

Rules

  • Limited to undergraduate or graduate students.
  • The teams should be composed of at least one OSA student member and at least one advisor who is an OSA member.
  • Required submission format: PDF with a 35-word abstract and 2 page summary.
    • Optional submission material: videos, system mock-ups, demonstrations.

 Key Criteria

  • Compliance: is the idea submission complete and does it comply with the rules of the challenge?
  • Novelty: does the idea describe a novel approach to providing a solution?
  • Originality: how original is the proposed technology or use of existing technology?
  • Relevance: How well does the idea relate to the topic and provide a solution aligned with the goals of this challenge?
  • Feasibility: how likely can the idea be prototyped?

Evaluation

Submissions will be evaluated by a committee of Imaging and Applied Optics Congress leadership and Lockheed Martin executives.


Sponsored by:

Lockheed Martin