MIT Laser Camera Sees Around Corners

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MIT's Ramesh Raskar, creator of amazing things, is on the cusp of creating a fantastical camera that can take pictures of objects that are hidden around corners. As long as light can reach the object, this camera can capture it.


The camera works much like a flashlight that has been pointed at a mirror. When you do that, you see the light reflected onto another surface, or back at you, which is precisely the effect that Raskar and his team at the MIT Media Lab have accomplished with their powerful femtosecond laser camera.

After the laser does a series of 12 or more 0.000000000000001 second pulses, the camera's software starts crunching data to create a 3D image:

It then use complex algorithms - similar to those used in medical CAT scans - to construct a probable 3D model of the surrounding area - including objects that may be hidden around the corner.

"In the same way that a CAT scan can reveal what is inside the body by taking multiple photographs using an x-ray source in different positions, we can recover what is beyond the line of sight by shining the laser at different points on a reflective surface," he said


The images are incredibly basic now, but Raskar and his team see huge potential in the areas of fire and rescue, the military and especially the surgical field, where he sees the camera being used as an advanced endoscope. [BBC]