Researchers Transform iPhone 5 Lens Into High-Res Microscope Using Legos


We’re constantly impressed at what people can do with smartphone cameras, but this one is pretty special.

Photo by Kindel Media from Pexels.

Basically, a team of researchers transformed your regular, pedestrian iPhone 5 lens into a high-resolution microscope with the help of Legos. For those of you that don’t keep up with Apple’s constantly iterating brand of smartphones, we’re currently waiting for the reveal of the 13 so the 5 is quite a few generations back.

The Georg August University Göttingen and Munster University’s Bart E. Vos, Emil Betz Blesa, and Timo Betz set out to make a powerful microscope using relatively cheap, somewhat accessible technology. Given how many used, obsolete smartphones there are out there, this is a pretty smart idea.

“Our aim is to introduce a microscope to individual students in a classroom setting, both as a scientific tool to access the micro-world and to facilitate the understanding of fundamental principles of the optical components of a microscope in a playful and motivating, yet precise approach. By basing the design on LEGO, we aim to make the microscope modular, cheap, and inspiring,” the researchers said of their work.

The core idea is to make somewhat sophisticated scientific instruments available to children and students around the world.

Betz said of their published schematic, “An understanding of science is crucial for decision-making and brings many benefits in everyday life, such as problem-solving and creativity…Yet we find that many people, even politicians, feel excluded or do not have the opportunities to engage in scientific or critical thinking. We wanted to find a way to nurture natural curiosity, help people grasp fundamental principles and see the potential of science.”

The construction, while cost-effective and accessible, is somewhat sophisticated. If you’re interested in checking out how to make your own microscope using Legos and an iPhone 5 lens, click on this link right here.

And you can check out their research at this link right here.

Don’t forget to check out our other photography news on Light Stalking at this link right here.


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Kehl is our staff photography news writer since 2017 and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing and you can get to know him better here and follow him on Insta.

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