UCLA researchers in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering have developed a novel single-objective lens stereo imaging setup for endoscopic applications.
Stereo imaging tools are widely used by many fields in industry, medicine, cinema, and engineering, where 3D visual information is acquired by using 2D images captured from different viewing angles. To do this, most stereo imaging tools require the use of multiple optical channels to achieve slightly different viewing angles around the object of interest, thereby increasing the overall size and structural complexity compared to single-lens imaging systems. Stereo imaging devices that can decrease the size as well as the structural complexity will be valuable for medical applications, such as endoscopy, where the size of the tool is a main concern.
UCLA researchers led by Professor CJ Kim have developed a novel single-objective lens device to generate stereo images that enhances the operator’s visual perception without increasing the device’s size. By eliminating the need for multiple optical systems, the overall device size and structural complexity is reduced, decreasing the manufacturing cost. This imaging device is easily integrated with an endoscope or can turn a conventional optical system into one with stereo imaging capabilities. This innovative imaging instrument can provide depth information and greatly increases the inspection and manipulation performance in hard-to-reach areas.
A miniaturized device has been manufactured and tested for endoscopic applications. Future directions include further developing the technology in a real endoscopic environment.
stereo imaging, single-objective lens, single lens, endoscopy, endoscopic imaging, single-lens endoscope, medical imaging, 3D imaging