Media Arts and Sciences grad students build $500 speed-of-light ‘nano-camera’


December 30, 2013

A $500 “nano-camera” that can operate at the speed of light has been developed by researchers in the MIT Media Lab.  The three-dimensional camera, which was presented last week at Siggraph Asia in Hong Kong, could be used in medical imaging and collision-avoidance detectors for cars, and to improve the accuracy of motion tracking and gesture-recognition devices used in interactive gaming.

The camera is based on “Time of Flight” technology like that used in Microsoft’s recently launched second-generation Kinect device, in which the location of objects is calculated by how long it takes a light signal to reflect off a surface and return to the sensor. However, unlike existing devices based on this technology, the new camera is not fooled by rain, fog, or even translucent objects, says co-author Achuta Kadambi, a graduate student at MIT.

“Using the current state of the art, such as the new Kinect, you cannot capture translucent objects in 3-D,” Kadambi says. “That is because the light that bounces off the transparent object and the background smear into one pixel on the camera. Using our technique you can generate 3-D models of translucent or near-transparent objects.”

Media Arts and Sciences graduate students Ayush Bhandari and Refael Whyte also worked on the nano-camera project.  Continue reading the article on MIT Newsphoto by Bryce Vickmark

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *