Bug-eyed warriors: Troops will see out of the corner of their eyes

Thanks to those clever boffins at Britain's BAE Systems and MoD, British troops will soon be able to see out of the corner of their eyes whilst fighting the enemy on the battle field.

British soldiers will be able to spot an enemy out of the corner of their eyes without even turning their heads.

The device, placed over one eye, is modelled on the eyes of an insect called Xenos peckii.

Bug-eyed warriors: Troops will see out of the corner of their eyes with revolutionary new night sight

By Peter Almond
23rd November 2008
Daily Mail

British frontline troops will soon be able to see better in the dark using a revolutionary night sight modelled on the eyes of a tiny parasite.

The digital device, worn over one eye and attached to a helmet, will allow soldiers to spot an enemy out of the corner of their eyes without even moving their head.

The device has been developed from studies into the 50 raspberry-like eyes of the Xenos peckii insect – a tiny bug that lives inside the bodies of paper wasps.

British troops will soon be using digital night goggles which will allow them to spot an enemy out of the corner of their eyes (file picture)

The insect’s visual system – which is not found in any other living creature – creates an image from a mosaic of pixels similar to those on a digital camera, to give a wide field of vision.

And the new kit, which has nine lenses, will provide troops with 60 degrees of peripheral vision, twice the level of their current night-vision goggles.

Lesley Laycock, executive scientist with BAE Systems, which is working on the project with the Ministry of Defence, said: ‘There’s a requirement to reduce the size and weight of night-vision goggles and to get a wider field of view.

‘Soldiers fight a lot at night but at the moment night-vision goggles get only a tunnel 30 to 40-degree field of view. The key is to get their sight wider and to be as natural as possible.’

The new ‘bug-eye’ lenses may be used later to improve the field of vision for CCTV cameras.

And they will give infantry soldiers and helicopters fitted with the technology a huge boost on the battlefield. They are due to come into use within three years.

As well as having the potential to save lives, the device’s images will be linked through secure military networks to commanders who can watch and record their soldiers at work on a video screen.


The Xenos peckii parasite lives a short and secretive life. Females are sightless and never leave the wasp host whose body they inhabit. But the males, once mature, must leave to find a mate and they have just hours to complete the task before they die.

The males are guided to the general area of the females by sex pheremones and then to their specific location by their amazing eyesight.

An MoD spokesman said last night: ‘Troops acknowledge they now have better equipment on the front line than ever before.

‘We have a duty of care to our Armed Forces and we welcome developments to personal equipment such as body armour, helmets and goggles that improve the safety and effectiveness of our troops.’

Interesting and highly effective.

Caught something similar to this on the Miltary Channel.


Similar Threads

Immigration overhaul eyed by Liberals
by B00Mer | Sep 24th, 2008
Mermaids, jackalopes and a one-eyed pig
by Blackleaf | Feb 2nd, 2006
'Islamic Hate' Eyed In Slayings
by Paranoid Dot Calm | Jan 20th, 2005
no new posts