NOV 13, 2019 1:58 PM PST

An Ant the Size of a Lion?

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

Having an ant the size of a lion isn’t an impossible idea—at least through augmented reality.

Watch this augmented reality zoo:

What exactly is augmented reality (AR)? It is the interactive experience of the ‘real world’ through the help of computer-generated images. AR is often used in gaming but recently researchers from Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) have utilized its application with biodiversity.

"In our lab we have been working on tools to interact with biodiversity data in different ways," said Prof. Evan Economo, senior author of the study. "The specimens we study are locked away in natural history museums, and not easily accessible to both researchers and the general public."

Credit: Biodiversity and Biocomplexity Unit at OIST

In the study published in the journal Insect Systematics and Diversity, researchers have utilized a high tech focused approach on AR focused on taxomny, or in particular six new species of Strumigenys ants (miniature trap-jaw ants). The approach was an interactive taxonomic app known as ‘Insects3D’

"With this app, we hope to get more people interested and help everyone see what the potential could be in the future," Economo said. "We have six [ant] models and geographic maps of where they are found. It's just the beginning and we are excited by what's to come."

Insects3D gives the opportunity for users to magnify tiny species in augmented reality. "When we made the app I gave it to my five-year old son," Economo said. "He spent an hour running around the house putting ants everywhere."

"The main research of the lab is understanding the evolution of insect diversity around the world, and new species discovery is a part of that," Economo said. "Rather than just describing new species in papers very few will read, we are interested to push the boundaries of technology and how we share results with our colleagues and the public."

Source: Science Daily

About the Author
  • Nouran earned her BS and MS in Biology at IUPUI and currently shares her love of science by teaching. She enjoys writing on various topics as well including science & medicine, global health, and conservation biology. She hopes through her writing she can make science more engaging and communicable to the general public.
You May Also Like
MAY 22, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
3-D Printing a Future with Affordable and Sustainable Nuclear Energy
MAY 22, 2020
3-D Printing a Future with Affordable and Sustainable Nuclear Energy
Admittedly, conventional nuclear plants are extremely costly to build and hazard-prone. To bring atomic energy into the ...
MAY 15, 2020
Technology
New Method for Clean Energy Usage
MAY 15, 2020
New Method for Clean Energy Usage
A study published in the journal Energy and Environmental Materials discusses new technology that may bring us a step cl ...
MAY 28, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Expandable Resin Solves the Size Problem of 3D Printing
MAY 28, 2020
Expandable Resin Solves the Size Problem of 3D Printing
One of the current limitations of using a 3D printer is the size of the product. For someone to print a large part, they ...
MAY 31, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Another SpaceX Starship Prototype Explodes During Testing
MAY 31, 2020
Another SpaceX Starship Prototype Explodes During Testing
Incomplete Starship prototypes are a common sight if you follow SpaceX’s plethora of rocket-centric projects, but ...
JUN 14, 2020
Space & Astronomy
NASA Picks Astrobotic to Deliver VIPER Rover to the Moon
JUN 14, 2020
NASA Picks Astrobotic to Deliver VIPER Rover to the Moon
NASA is no stranger to autonomous rovers. To date, the American space agency has sent four rovers to the Martian surface ...
JUN 26, 2020
Neuroscience
Artificial and Natural Neurons Communicate Using Dopamine
JUN 26, 2020
Artificial and Natural Neurons Communicate Using Dopamine
Researchers from Stanford University have shown that artificial neurons can communicate with biological neurons with dop ...
Loading Comments...