The video Wireless Steerable Vision for Live Insects and Insect-scale Robots from the University of Washington's Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science begins with the following:
Vision is an important sensory input for many insects, but their most sensitive photoreceptors can consume significant amounts of energy. This has led many insects to develop high visual acuity in only small retinal regions and evolve instead to move their visual systems through head motion.
The robot mimics this by articulating a narrow field of view camera with a low-energy actuator.
Question: Why do insects' "most sensitive photoreceptors... consume significant amounts of energy" What is it about the most sensitive photoreceptors that consumes so much more energy than the less sensitive photoreceptors that it would exert evolutionary pressure to minimize their number?
See also (potentially helpful):
- Science Robotics: Wireless steerable vision for live insects and insect-scale robots
- UW News: A GoPro for beetles: Researchers create a robotic camera backpack for insects
- BBC: Beetle-mounted camera streams insect adventures
- How much energy does a small spider expend per day just waiting for its web to vibrate?