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Towards high-throughput 3D insect capture for species discovery and diagnostics thanks: This work was partly funded by CSIRO Transformational Biology Platform
  • Chuong Nguyen
Chuong Nguyen
Data61, CSIRO
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Digitisation of natural history collections not only preserves precious information about biological diversity, it also enables us to share, analyse, annotate and compare specimens to gain new insights. High-resolution, full-colour 3D capture of biological specimens yields color and geometry information complementary to other techniques (e.g., 2D capture, electron scanning and micro computed tomography). However 3D colour capture of small specimens is slow for reasons including specimen handling, the narrow depth of field of high magnification optics, and the large number of images required to resolve complex shapes of specimens. In this paper, we outline techniques to accelerate 3D image capture, including using a desktop robotic arm to automate the insect handling process; using a calibrated pan-tilt rig to avoid attaching calibration targets to specimens; using light field cameras to capture images at an extended depth of field in one shot; and using 3D Web and mixed reality tools to facilitate the annotation, distribution and visualisation of 3D digital models.