Single Lens Stereoscopic Endoscope
Wook Choi, Vladimir Rubtsov, and Chang-Jin Kim, researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA, USA) together with Gennady Segal from Intelligent Optical Systems (Torrance, CA, USA) have developed a novel 3-D imaging system built around a moveable single lens that may become part of the first single lens stereoscopic endoscope.
How it works
Many stereoscopic imaging systems make use of a pair of cameras to view objects of interest, which inevitably increases overall size and structural complexity of the system compared to single imaging systems. The new system however, makes use of a single moving lens to create stereo images.
The principle of operation is elegant, yet straightforward. When the lens center is on the optical axis, images of two objects in the field of view of the system have their bases on the optical axis. When the lens moves upward or downward, the images of the objects behind the lens move up or down. However, because the images of the closer objects shift more than those of farther objects when the lens moves, the relationship between the distance the object is from the lens and the amount the image is shifted can be used to reconstruct a 3D image of the objects in a scene.
"A MICRO TRANSLATING LENS UNIT FOR STEREO IMAGING THROUGH SINGLE-IMAGE ENDOSCOPE"
For more details, read the full scientific paper (pdf format) that was presented by their authors at the MEMS 2012 conference in Paris, France.