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Laser camera 'sees' around corners

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only
by Staff Writers
Boston (UPI) Nov 17, 2010
Researchers in Boston say they have developed a laser camera that can "see" around corners and take pictures of a scene not in its direct line of sight.

The camera uses a femtosecond laser, which fires extremely short bursts of light that can reflect off one object, such as the open door of a room, and then off a second object inside the room before reflecting back to the first object and being captured by the camera, after which algorithms can use the information to reconstruct the hidden scene, Physorg.com reported Wednesday.

The camera system, designed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professor Ramesh Raskar and others, exploits the fact that it is possible to capture light at extremely short time scales, about one quadrillionth of a second, and by continuously gathering light and computing the time and distance that each pixel has traveled, the camera creates a "3D time-image" of the scene it can't directly see.

"It's like having X-ray vision without the X-rays," Raskar said. "We're going around the problem rather than going through it."

The camera is in early stages of development and the researchers say they're working on accurately mapping more complex scenes.

Among many possible uses for the camera, they say, is as a biomedical imaging device allowing doctors to use endoscopes to view areas inside the body that are normally hidden.

A portable imaging system in the form of an endoscope could be ready in the next two years, the researchers estimate.




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TECH SPACE
Portable Laser Backpack Revolutionizes Interior 3D Mapping
Arlington VA (AFNS) Sep 15, 2010
A portable, laser backpack for 3D mapping has been developed at the University of California, Berkeley, where it is being hailed as a breakthrough technology capable of producing fast, automatic and realistic 3D mapping of difficult interior environments. Research leading to the development of the reconnoitering backpack, was funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the Ar ... read more

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